17 April 2023

Paul’s Story

My name is Paul Farrell, and I had a stroke five days before Christmas 2019. I thought my life was over.

I was in hospital when it happened. I had gotten sepsis in my leg and needed five operations. During my last operation, that’s when the stroke happened.

When I woke up my speech was gone, and I had lost all power in my arms and legs. I’ll always remember that day. It was a very hard time. I couldn’t say what was in my head, or ask what was happening.

I have two daughters and it was a difficult time for them too. There were times I couldn’t go home from hospital to see them face-to-face, because of Covid. I couldn’t talk, write or read, and one of my daughters, who was 12 at the time, thought I had forgotten her

From the day of my stroke, it probably took me a year and a half to start to build my life back up. One half of my brain would be saying: ‘you’re making progress, you’re coming back’, and the other half was saying: ‘no, it’s over.’

I’ve had good days and bad days, but I take it one day at a time.

In March 2021 I started to work with Lorraine, my Rehabilitation Assistant at Acquired Brain Injury Ireland (ABII). I feel like she’s been there from the start. She works with me on my speech, but I’d say she’s probably my best friend as well.

And Andrea, the psychologist at ABII, he was my counsellor. I worked with him for 16 weeks and he really made a big difference.

Please donate and help brain injury survivors like Paul to rebuild their lives.

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I know if my rehab supports weren’t there for me, I wouldn’t be back. Ultimately, it’s up to me to put the work in.

But all the people who helped me: Lorraine, the people in the Hospitals – if it wasn’t for them, I wouldn’t be where I am today. I know I’m lucky.

Your generosity today can help someone like Paul rebuild their life following the devastation that a brain injury can bring.

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