Fiancee of brain injury victim backs plans for Upminster rehabilitation unit
PUBLISHED: 07:00 07 February 2017 | UPDATED: 09:21 07 February 2017
It should have been the happiest time of their lives but a few weeks following a dream proposal, a couple’s world changed forever.
Campbell Gibb-Stuart, 31, of Alma Avenue, Hornchurch, was out having after work drinks with friends when he fell in 2013, suffering major brain trauma.
Since then his fiancee Lucy French, 32, has been forced to travel hours to visit him but hopes a care provider’s application to create a brain injury unit in Upminster will be successful.
“At each transition [of his treatment], it has been a challenge to find a suitable facility within travelling distance from our home,” said Lucy.
“The unit that he was in most recently made it impossible for daily visits, meaning that I could only see him at weekends.
“I work full time and it’s just not feasible to travel for two hours to visit him and hold down a job.”
During the three years since his accident, Campbell has been in four different rehabilitation units, including near Wembley and Colchester.
Although discharged from hospital, he needs ongoing help and the support of a day service.
“There’s hardly anything like this service in the area that deals with brain injuries,” Lucy continued.
“We are waiting on one in Hackney but it has a three to nine month waiting list.”
Carebase, a south east England and East Anglia residential care provider, is looking to build a new care home and acquired brain injury (ABI) unit in Upminster.
According to the company there are 117 accquired brain injury beds in just six facilities in Essex.
“There is a serious lack of neurological rehabilitation services throughout the United Kingdom and I am particularly aware of the limited services currently available in east London,” said Professor Michael Barnes, chairman of UK Acquired Brain Injury Forum.
“I really support Carebase’s proposals as we desperately need a service that both offers rehabilitation as well as offering some long-term care and nursing facilities for those with neurological disabilities who are unable to live in the community.”
Should the plans be successful, the travel time of Lucy and relatives of people suffering from brain injuries could be significantly reduced, meaning more time with their loved ones.
“It would have completely changed my life,” added Lucy.
“Having a busy job and seeing him every day – it would’ve meant I could have spent more time with him.”