A YOUNG man is working to raise awareness of brain injuries after his life was changed instantly following a tragic accident.
Twenty-year-old Kevin Fee from Tempo, was studying in Belfast when he fell down a flight of stairs, and was left with a serious brain injury which resulted in him having to learn how to walk and talk again.
Kevin, a past pupil of St Michael’s College in Enniskillen, is currently on a year out from studying computer science at university in Belfast. He is speaking out during Brain Injury awareness week to promote the understanding of all aspects of a brain injury.
Kevin also suffers from Klippel Feil Syndrome – a chronic illness which causes low blood pressure and chronic pain, and the condition which contributed to his life changing accident.
He explained, “When I was 19, I had my first low blood pressure episode when I was standing at the top of a flight of stairs. Unfortunately I fell down the stairs backwards, hitting the steps and hit my head on the concrete tile floor. I was in a coma for two weeks and spent two months in hospital.
“I woke up from the coma and could not walk, talk, eat or drink and I had to learn to do all of that again. I came out of hospital at the end of April last year, and for the first six months, every single thing I did was to benefit my recovery.”
Kevin said it has been a ‘rollercoaster of emotions’ since the fall, adding he can’t really explain the feeling of waking up in hospital and being told that he could not walk, move or do everyday things.
The Tempo man took a year out of university to recover and has been volunteering with Headway since Christmas. The charity works to improve lives after brain injury and this week is brain injury awareness week – May 20th until 24th.
Kevin said, “I thought it would be good to talk to other people who have a brain injury and who can relate with my situation.
“Headway is great and the empathy from everyone at the charity has been unbelievable. I am so appreciative.
“I also attend the Cedar Foundation which has been a great help. I do most of my rehab there and they have been fantastic.”
Since his accident, Kevin has been very open about his illnesses and has been making a good recovery.
“I was diagnosed with the chronic illness when I was 15, but I did not tell many people until after the accident because I thought I have to tell everyone now as this has nearly killed me.
“My close friends and family have been really fantastic. I do not look sick, so I would like people to be more empathic towards people with rare chronic illnesses and brain injuries, because I do think in today’s society people need to be a little bit kinder.”
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Posted: 7:38 pm May 24, 2019