Couple share story in brain injury film

Ann and Bert Dow, from Stenhouse, who appear in Edinburgh Headway Group's award-winning brain injury video.
Ann and Bert Dow, from Stenhouse, who appear in Edinburgh Headway Group's award-winning brain injury video.
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An Edinburgh charity has scooped a prestigious prize for a video which explains the impact of brain injury.

Members from brain injury charity Edinburgh Headway Group won first prize winner at the UKABIF short film awards for their video, Nothing Short of a Lifeline.

The emotive video, which was created using the powerful experiences from brain injury survivors, their carers and loved ones, sheds light on just how lives and futures can be altered in an instant as a result of sustaining a brain injury.

Ann Dow’s husband Gilbert sustained a traumatic brain injury after he suffered a stroke in 2008 on New Year’s Day.

“I was upstairs and Gilbert was bringing me a cup of tea. I heard a crash and I thought he had just dropped the cup but when I went to investigate, he was lying at the bottom of the stairs,” recalled Ann.

“Since then our lives have been completely different and I have had to become his full-time carer.

“I have lost my soulmate of over 30 years and it has been very hard to come to terms with.

“You can get quite low, it’s heartbreaking and depressing.

“But Edinburgh Headway Group has been there for both me and Bert.”

Gilbert, 76, was left with a number of serious problems, including cognitive issues and severe seizures. He also finds it hard to speak.

Ann, 70, who is from Stenhouse, said she enjoyed taking part in sharing her story as part of the award-winning film.

She said: “Brain injuries are often misunderstood and people don’t realise how isolating it can be for people and their family.

“It is wonderful that Edinburgh Headway Group has won this award – they have helped me and supported me so much.”

Michelle Keenan, Chief Executive Officer of Edinburgh Headway Group, received the award on behalf of its members.

She said: “What is clear is that the experiences of those affected by brain injury are unique but with the right help and support at the right time, there can be life afterwards.

“Edinburgh Headway Group is absolutely thrilled to be given this award, which help us highlight the effects of acquired brain injuries for our members and their carers and the valuable work that we do to empower and enrich the lives of adults who have survived an acquired brain injury.

“I would like to thank our members, carers and our team for all their assistance in the making of this powerful production – we are proud to receive this award and to gain UK recognition for our work.”

A specialist organisation based at Astley Ainslie Hospital, Edinburgh Headway Group has been providing information, support, respite and rehabilitation services to individuals with an acquired brain injury and their families and carers for the past 34 years.