2 April 2024

Jimmy’s Story

Jimmy, a vibrant young man, had his sights set on a promising future as a carpenter.

However, a fateful accident changed the course of his life forever.

With his bright future dimmed by uncertainty, Jimmy’s journey embodies the resilience and determination needed to overcome life’s unexpected challenges.

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Jimmy Morrisroe began his carpentry journey at 15, working alongside his father, Batty, a skilled cabinet maker in Sligo. Inspired by his dad’s craftsmanship, Jimmy excelled in his apprenticeship and secured a full-time job by 19.

Dreaming of family life and the joys of parenthood, Jimmy embraced his future with optimism. At 35, he ventured to France for work, enjoying the experience and forming lasting friendships.

Tragedy struck when Jimmy fell headfirst, leading to a six-week coma. Doctors feared the worst.


“At the time, trying to come to terms with what had happened was very difficult. My life would never be the same.”

In France, Jimmy’s father learned of an available bed in a Sligo nursing home. With few alternatives, they flew home together. Jimmy felt angry and unhappy about his move to the nursing home but he had no other options.

Jimmy spent months at St. John’s Hospital in Limerick and the National Rehabilitation Hospital. He faced memory, attention span, and concentration issues. Even during meals, he’d get distracted by labels on the food or the clock on the wall.

The turning point came when Jimmy learned about Acquired Brain Injury Ireland’s Transitional Living Unit (TLU) in Sligo.


“At my age, I should not be in a nursing home, it’s very hard being stuck in an environment with people 30 or 40 years older than me.”

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Jimmy credits Acquired Brain Injury Ireland for providing crucial support. Without the Transitional Living Unit (TLU), he might have remained in a nursing home, lacking proper care. At the TLU, Jimmy focused on concentration and physical strength, still reliant on staff due to his wheelchair.

He faced overwhelming exhaustion, a challenge he continues to manage today. For 11 years, Dr. Caroline, an Acquired Brain Injury Ireland psychologist, has provided invaluable support, listening and empowering Jimmy to make his own decisions.

After improving at the TLU, Jimmy eagerly spent weekends at home, a crucial step toward independence. Engaging in Acquired Brain Injury Ireland’s woodworking and garden groups brought him joy and aided his rehabilitation, fostering a sense of accomplishment. From planting seeds to painting, Jimmy found pride in his work, witnessing its results.

Acquired Brain Injury Ireland’s new sensory garden offers crucial rehabilitation opportunities, providing exercise and community support. In the woodworking group, Jimmy’s expertise shines as he completes projects and shares his knowledge with others, a source of great pride.


“Because I had a true love for my former profession, I think that’s the most difficult part of my brain injury. However, it is amazing I have this [Acquired Brain Injury Ireland] outlet.”

Jimmy has found comfort in the support of friends, strengthened family ties, and a newfound sense of self. Now living independently in his new apartment near Acquired Brain Injury Ireland’s resource centre, Jimmy dreams of returning to work, mentoring future carpenters, or even becoming a lecturer.

His resilience and determination inspire others, while his advocacy for awareness of invisible disabilities highlights the importance of understanding diverse challenges. Like the blooming flowers in the sensory garden, Jimmy’s journey symbolises renewal and transformation.

We hope that you are inspired by Jimmy’s incredible story and will consider making an extraordinary gift this Easter. 

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