Headway

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Headway are an amazing organisation that work to support people with all kinds of brain injuries.  Andy got involved with Headway Leicester in the last few years of his life and benefited greatly from their services.  Over the years he endured countless operations on his brain to deal with growing tumours, and while saving his life, the cumulative effect could be seen in his slower responses, slurred speech and increased physical disability.  It was an inoperable tumour on the brain stem which haemorrhaged the night he died.

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Andy on a Headway holiday

Not only did the support workers at Headway help Andy go on holiday, get out to the cinema, go bowling and do the normal things that he desperately wanted to do as a young single man in his mid-thirties, but they also gave him opportunities to rediscover his practical and creative gifts.  I believe that there is something hugely important about our creativity, that it is an essential part of what makes us human and made in God’s image.  I still treasure some of the things Andy made with the help and support of Headway…

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Andy with some of his creations

I dropped in to the Headway centre in Evington this week to drop off some flyers and was delighted to have the chance to meet a lady with VHL who is now being supported there.  Headway typically helps people who have had brain injuries, perhaps through accidents, rather than those with degenerative conditions like VHL.  I remember one of the staff telling me it was unusual because they were used to people coming in seriously ill and slowly recovering, whereas for Andy and others with VHL it was the reverse.  Like Andy though, this lady struck me as a remarkably strong and positive person in spite of her illness and once again I was humbled by the resilience of the human spirit in the face of life’s challenges and reminded of why I am doing all this.