Phil Broxton sustained a brain injury following a fall in his garage in which he fractured his skull in six places. The accident left him with a number of difficulties, but outwardly he doesn’t look disabled.
He often feels under pressure to prove he has disabilities to others and explain the effects or symptoms of his brain injury – which include balance problems, chronic fatigue and cognitive issues.
It’s for this reason that he is supporting a new identification card being launched by Headway – the brain injury association.
The Headway Brain Injury Identity Card is designed to help brain injury survivors explain their condition.
It displays the key ways in which the survivor’s brain injury affects them and includes a 24-hour criminal legal assistance number which can be called to request legal advice or representation from solicitors trained in understanding brain injury.
Phil, who is 43 and lives in Runcorn, Cheshire, said the card is very useful as it provides him with confidence in a number of everyday scenarios.
He said: “Carrying the card is very reassuring as I know that I can quickly show it in times of difficulty.
The card gives me confidence
“Because I don’t look like a person with a disability, the card gives me confidence that I can verify my disability if required. It’s really helpful when I have to catch a bus and want use its priority seats or when I'm struggling with walking.
"Some people jump to the conclusion that you're drunk if you stagger.”
Phil, who used to travel the world as part of his job as a robotic technician, said carrying the card has helped him educate people about the challenges faced by brain injury survivors.
He said: “It has also been really useful to promote awareness and understanding of my brain injury and reduce people just making assumptions.”
“I am now very aware of the difficulties faced by disabled people every day and especially those with hidden or invisible disabilities.
“I carry the card with me whenever I am out of my home and show it when I need to help me explain why I am, the way I am.”
The card is part of the wider Justice Project, which aims to raise awareness about brain injury and ensure brain injury survivors are provided with the appropriate support when they come into contact with the criminal justice system – something that sadly isn’t always the case.
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