Newry men feature in ‘My Injured Brain’ documentary

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Monday, March 5th, 2018
Community, News

When Tony Dolaghan headed off to Bundoran for the weekend with friends and Christopher Cunningham got into a car one day, neither knew that their lives and the lives of their parents and immediate families were about to change for ever.

Both Newry men suffered a life changing brain injury when Tony fell forty feet over a cliff and Christopher’s journey ended in a car accident just outside Camlough.

 

 

A brain injury turns lives upside down in an instant. It can have profound lifelong consequences, often more difficult because they are unseen, all in the head.

Self-confidence, moods, behaviour, adaptability and every other aspect of character can be altered, impossible to explain, challenging to live with.

As the years passed a new self is revealed and a new reality is lived. One of the key challenges for brain injury survivors is adapting to that new reality.

Both of these men lost their jobs and many of their friends and relationships. Their personalities changed as did their abilities.

 

 

Loneliness was a daily companion accompanied often by depression and frustration. To the outside world both looked exactly as they did before their injuries and so many people found it almost impossible to understand their situations.

“My Injured Brain” follows the lives of these two men and their parents over a period of months last year and looked at how they have found support through The Brain Injury Foundation.

 

 

Speaking to Newry Times, Frank Dolaghan, Chair of the Foundation and father of Tony said, “The film director, Guy King, invested huge amounts of time in producing this documentary and he had tremendous empathy with all of those he interviewed and filmed.

“Aileen and I believe it is a very vivid and accurate portrayal of the massive effects of an acquired brain injury on both the survivor and their carers,” he added.

Kieran Cunningham, father of Christopher said, “Christopher’s brain injury is quite recent, just a couple of years ago. It came as a complete shock to myself and Bronagh.

“We had no idea what to expect and little realisation of the changes the injury would make to Christopher. Thankfully we were directed towards the Brain Injury Foundation and it is no exaggeration to say that the support we receive there has been life-saving.”

 

 

“My Injured Brain” will be shown on BBC TV Northern Ireland at 10.40pm on Monday 12th March and is expected to be repeated the following evening on BBC 2.


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