Rehab centre offers ray of hope to brain damaged crash victim  

Wisbech man at Askham House in Doddington

David Scrimshaw was admitted to Askham House in Doddington in 2018 after a serious collision which left him with a diffuse axonal brain injury. - Credit: Askham Rehab

A rehab community has shared the inspiring journey of a patient from Wisbech who had to learn to speak again after sustaining a significant brain injury. 

Askham Rehab, a specialist neuro rehab community, near Doddington, has shared the journey of David Scrimshaw, a former...

Askham Rehab, a specialist neuro rehab community, near Doddington, has shared the journey of David Scrimshaw, a former carpenter. - Credit: Askham

Askham Rehab, a specialist neuro rehab community, near Doddington, has shared the journey of David Scrimshaw, a former carpenter. 

David, then in his early 30s, in 2017, was involved in a serious road traffic collision.  

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David has been able to make progress with aspects like a MYRO table, a sensor-based surface with interactive applications to provide cognitive stimulation to help David reach and rotate with his left upper limb. - Credit: Askham Rehab

With March being Brain Injury Awareness Month, the centre has highlighted the rapid progression people can make through the use of specialist rehab treatment.  

The accident, which involved David’s car hitting a lorry in the Fens, left him with a diffuse axonal brain injury – one of the most dangerous types of head injuries. 

David had to have at-scene amputation of his right arm just above the elbow. 

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It is hoped with the amount of progress David is making at Askham Rehab, that he can soon return home to his parents. - Credit: Askham Rehab

Admitted to Askham from a Level 1 rehabilitation unit in 2018, David arrived in a prolonged disorder of consciousness, where he was unable to engage in therapy sessions or make eye contact with others. 

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Sara Neaves, clinical lead and outpatients service manager, said: “David arrived at Askham with a very significant brain injury. 

Family photos provided for the video made by Askham Rehab of David before the collision

Family photos provided for the video made by Askham Rehab of David before the collision - Credit: Askham

“Diffuse axonal injuries cause a lot of damage to brain cells and, being so life-threatening, can take an extensive period of time to recover from. 

“Due to the nature of the injury, David’s rehabilitation required treatment from all four of our Askham Rehab disciplines; clinical psychology, physiotherapy, occupational therapy, and speech and language therapy.” 

Sara said: “David’s been with us for almost three years now. He couldn’t speak a word on arrival and can now hold conversations.  

Sara Neaves, clinical lead and outpatients manager at Askham

Sara Neaves, clinical lead and outpatients manager at Askham - Credit: Askham

“He’s even getting his cheeky personality coming back through. He’s hit many milestones since his journey began. The one that sticks out for me is when he gave us his first smile during a physiotherapy session, after splashing us in the hydrotherapy pool. 

 She said: “It’s been extremely rewarding to see how far he’s progressed. He’s now making eye contact, initiating conversations, participating with the activities team, and engaging in the physiotherapy sessions.  

Aerial view of Askham Rehab community 

Aerial view of Askham Rehab community - Credit: Askham

“He is also close to his extremely supportive family – who have been grateful for everything we’ve provided him with at Askham – so they can visit him on a daily basis.” 

“Ultimately, being at Askham has been a really positive move for David. Askham’s ethos is all about patience, kindness, and nurturing for people like David.  

“Due to his injury, the road to recovery has been a long one, but we’re hopeful that one day David will return home to his parents.” 

Sensory gardens within the Askham rehab community

Sensory gardens within the Askham rehab community - Credit: Askham

David has been able to make use of Askham Rehab’s new robotics and sensor assisted technology, thanks to it being one of a very small number of providers in the UK to offer a specialist robotic-led rehabilitation service.  

Empowered with the state-of-the-art Tyromotion equipment, therapists were able to  to help David push himself to achieve more in a shorter time frame. 

Askham Rehab, a specialist neuro rehab community, near Doddington, has shared the journey of David Scrimshaw, a former...

Askham Rehab, a specialist neuro rehab community, near Doddington, has shared the journey of David Scrimshaw, a former carpenter. - Credit: Askham

The MYRO table, a sensor-based surface with interactive applications, provided cognitive stimulation through patterning and sequencing, helping David to reach and rotate with his left upper limb.  

While the OMEGO Plus, a multifunctional chair enabling specific training of functional therapy goals, and a favourite of David’s, helped him use his lower limbs, focusing on building range of movement and strength. 

David also took part in sessions in Askham Rehab’s hydrotherapy pool, where an aqua therapist helped him stretch out his muscles and improve the range of movement at his joints.  

Sensory rooms and gardens also helped to stimulate David’s senses and played a crucial part in the development of regaining certain cognitive skills. 

Summing up his journey so far at Askham, David said: “It’s nice here at Askham, I like everyone. There are good people looking after me.” 

 Askham director Aliyyah-Begum Nasser said: “As a family business with more than 30 years’ experience, including 10 years of neurological rehabilitation expertise, we’re able to offer a quantitative and targeted approach to treatment. 

“David’s journey encompasses what Brain Injury Awareness Month is all about; highlighting the strategies to improve the quality of life for persons living with brain injuries and their families.” 

For more information on Askham Rehab, visit: https://askhamrehab.com/ and to watch David’s journey at Askham Rehab, go to: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8C7CH2Y5Dm8&feature=youtu.be

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