PROGRESS: Kristyn Rourke hopes to help other people with brain injury, and their families, through her Facebook page, Brain Injury Perspective. Picture: Supplied

KRISTYN Rourke had just dropped off her partner at Morisset Station when her Hilux and another vehicle collided on the M1 Pacific Motorway at Mandalong in 2014.

“The impact forced my car off the side of a bridge. My car rolled a few times before coming to rest,” Ms Rourke said.

Her injuries were horrific.

Herleft elbow was shattered and her radial nerve severed, her right ear was amputated, she fractured her C2 vertebra (also known as a hangman fracture), and the right side of her face was de-gloved.

“But of all the injuries I sustained in the car accident, brain injury is the one that I struggle with the most,” she said.

Ms Rourke, 40, of Rutherford is telling her story to support Brain Injury Awareness Week.

She is doing so in the hope that others who have similar experiences will visit her Facebook page and find solace.

“Even though I lost my right ear, I can still hear from that side. I have a slight loss of hearing and I also have tinnitus,” she said.

“I also have speech difficulties. My speech has improved since the accident. But when I’m tired, or fatigued, my speech gets very slurred,” she said.

Medical and rehabilitation appointments fill her diary. But she is making progress.

She had to learn to walk, talk, and feed herself again. Other basic tasks, such as cleaning her teeth, had to be re-learnt.

“Traumatic brain injury impacts the very core of who we are, or were,” she said.

“Overall, my progress has been gradual but it’s given me a lot of hope for the future.”

Ms Rourke has created the Facebook page called ‘Brain Injury Perspective’. It offersinformation, a place to purge, and learn, she said.

“The idea of this page is to offer a safe place for others battling brain injury to relate to content, a motivational place for information, a place to download thoughts and feelings, plus a place for family, friends and carers who are new to this way of life to gain some insight.”

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