Darren loved an active and busy life. He would often go out to gigs and the cinema with friends, but his real passion was motorbikes. He enjoyed riding his motorbike on a daily basis come rain or shine, and would spend every opportunity he could watching the Motor GP. As a driven young man he was also developing his professional career working for Network Rail.
Then his accident happened. Darren was left with a complex spinal cord injury (SCI) resulting in four years of care in a specialist SCI centre. This is where Darren met Jackie; she was working as a clinical occupational therapist at the centre and helped treat Darren following his acute injury. They built a rapport with each other and Darren saw her as person he could trust at such a confusing and traumatic time.
After Darren’s discharge from hospital, he requested that Jackie became his case manager. Although Darren had a long term partner and family members for support, they needed an expert like Jackie to ensure that he had appropriate intervention and assistance at this optimal time in his rehabilitation.
Darren was determined to get the best out of his new life. Therefore with the help of his case manager Jackie, he set out a number of optimistic and achievable goals.
Firstly, he wanted to find his own property, a place he could call home. Staying within the community was also a huge factor for Darren. The rental accommodation he was currently living in was just not suitable and was constant reminder of the active lifestyle he once had.
Eventually a new property was located, an architect and occupational therapist were brought on board to help meet Darren’s needs. A huge eight month project began; expanding the inside and outside of the property was crucial to aid his independence as a wheelchair user. The open plan layout enabled them to install a suitable wet room and hoisting equipment. The adaptions also gave Darren the flexibility to go outside into the garden with infrared door openers. Although, the work took the best part of a year, Darren now feels secure and equipped in his own home.
Darren also hasn’t lost his love for motorsport; one of the most interesting features of his new home is the display of two Valentine Rossi motor bikes in his dining room.
Despite Darren’s injury he likes to feel in control. He wants to be listened too and play a role in making his own decisions, supported by his case manager.
Another one of Darren’s goals was to go on holiday; this dream became a reality when it was arranged for him to go to the Motor GP in Spain.
The logistics that went into organising the trip were phenomenal. Despite the huge amount of planning and the odd hiccup along the way, it was completely worth it and will be a moment he can cherish forever.
Shortly after settlement Darren’s long term partner left him. This was a devastating time for Darren leaving him exceptionally vulnerable and emotional.
A breakdown in relationships is hard enough for any individual, let alone someone with such a complex injury like Darren. Small things like paying the bills and going to the shops were all taken care of by his partner, the absence of these simple tasks left Darren feeling hopeless and alone.
During this turbulent time it was agreed to employ a personal assistant (PA) for Darren, separate from his care team. She now provides invaluable support to Darren ensuring the smooth running of his household.
One of Darren’s main goals for the future is to remain healthy, something a lot of us take for granted. His case manager and care team work around the clock to help achieve this, with the addition of managing his settlement money to unsure his care, accommodation and lifestyle can be maintained for years to come.
The relationship between client and case manager is paramount. That’s why at Bush & Co we pride ourselves on providing experts who are friendly and compassionate. Jackie has now been supporting Darren and his rehabilitation for over 11 years and aims to continue her work. Their relationship is based on mutual respect and is driven by Darren’s spirit to not let his injury limit his everyday life.