About Us

The Brain Chain Foundation is a registered non-profit organisation dedicated to offering support programs to survivors of acquired brain injury (ABI). We also offer support to the families and caregivers of TBI survivors.

Generally, our members would have sustained an injury as a result of a traumatic accident or physical assault or as a consequence of injuries incurred whilst undertaking sports or some other physical event and which consequently results in serious and significant brain damage. These impairments may be temporary or permanent and cause partial or functional disability or psycho-social maladjustment.

The Brain Chain Foundation organisation also assists survivors of other acquired brain injuries which occurs after birth and is not related to a congenital or a degenerative disease. This could include damage caused by a Stroke, Bleeding in the brain, Lack of oxygen to the brain, Infections in the brain, Toxic exposure and Fluid build-up in the brain or a Brain tumour.

All Brain Chain Foundation members have had and led a full life up until the time of their acquired brain injury, which may have caused permanent changes in one or more of the following areas:

Physical Changes
• Problems with walking, sitting, transfers, bathing, household tasks
• Slurred speech
• Chronic pain including headaches
• Fatigue and sleep difficulties

Cognitive Changes
• Takes more time to make sense of information
• Problems with planning, organizing or starting tasks
• Problems with vision
• Problems understanding conversations, coming up with the right word, talking in grammatically complete sentences
• Easily distracted
• Poor memory
• Difficulty with judgement and decision making
• Preservation “getting stuck” on a topic, idea or activity
• Confusion – may not know the date, year, time of day, where they are
• Impulsiveness – act before you think
• Dis-inhibition – no “social filter” to tell you when you shouldn’t do or say something

Emotional Changes
• Irritability “short fuse”
• Mood disorders like depression, anxiety, anger management problems
• Emotional liability – crying for no apparent reason
• Emotional or behavioural outbursts
• Normal emotional responses to the incredibly devastating impact of the brain injury
• Sadness, anger, frustration, loss of sense of self, anxiety about having another stroke or injury

Social Changes
• Awkwardness or inappropriate behaviour because of difficulty reading social cues
• Isolating yourself because you feel different and therefore leading to being treated differently
• Trouble with social and work relationships because of awkwardness and poor coping skills
• Family breakdowns
• Loss of privacy, independence, future plans, income
• Change in roles – (was a caregiver, now has to receive care from others)

The Brain Chain Foundation is able to offer information, practical advice and better understanding about what this this will mean for the future and how the family, colleagues and friends can make a meaningful contribution to the recovery of the injured individual.

 

The Brain Chain Foundation Vision

To be a primary, accessible and committed resource for persons and families affected by acquired brain injury.

The Brain Chain Foundation Mission

Based on personal and real experiences we strive to serve the diverse communities throughout South Africa where individuals who have acquired brain injuries and their families and those close to them can learn how to deal with the challenges arising out of this situation on a practical, hands on and supportive basis to improve their quality of life and help create the opportunity for each to achieve their maximum potential.

The Brain Chain Foundation is here to assist the higher functioning traumatised brain injured (TBI) patients and to assist in helping them creating a future for themselves.

The Brain Chain Foundation has acquired the services and support of a Neuro Surgeon that has a special interest in managing spasticity and is qualified to perform a Peripheral neurotomy. In addition The Brain Chain Foundation has two of the best Occupational Therapists which are qualified Hand Specialists.

Founder’s Bio

My Background
I grew up in a small mining town in South Africa, Cullinan ,close to the Capital, Pretoria – The Jacaranda city! My childhood was simple and easy! I excelled in Primary school and loved all sport! In High school my parents sent me to Boarding school, the affluent Pretoria Boys High school! But if I look back now I learned many valuable lessons in those years! I excelled in Golf and it became my Passion, to one day play on the PGA was in my vision! I got my Pro Card when I was 19 and worked at the pro shop on Weekends to earn extra money and gain experience!
One day my father approached me with a business proposal, so I decided to go and study business management! I managed his stores for him and managed to finance my own! Life was good.
Life changed on 28 April 2010
I had been driving in the rain and had a bumper bashing, I called 911, I got out my car and another car smashed into the back of my car at 100km per hour! I was in the way, my car door hit the side of my face ! I don’t remember anything after that!
I woke up 6 weeks later from being in a induced coma, no skull and 25 staples down the right side of my skull! I had sustained a Traumatic Brain Injury! A neck injury , where my C5 and C6 had to be fused! It was 6 months of ICU, morphine, ventilator’s confusion and not being able to walk, talk or feed myself!
My world feel apart, my fiancé left me, I had Neuro fatigue, I could no longer play golf or work, no longer use my left hand and walked with a limp! I couldn’t see properly as my optical nerve was damaged, my jaw hurt all the time from it being fractured in 11 places! I lost myself!
My family tried to offer me support but I was lost, I didn’t want to survive, I didn’t want to live! So I spend my time trying to escape reality! I took stimulants, it made me feel better for a while! I didn’t care if my arm got worse! My speech improved but I developed a stutter, I hid away from the world and only had contact with the few that I thought understood me!
7 years down the line...
I have turned my life around, for me! I no longer need to feel sorry for myself! I have learned to cope, I have had extensive therapy and surgery to try and correct what happened 7 years ago! I want to help families and people who are in the same situation as I believe that helping others is the most gratifying therapy!  I want to play Golf again, I will, I know it because for the first time in 7 years I believe in myself!

Contact Us

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Email us to become a member or if you have any questions.
EMAIL brandonshaw@thebrainchain.co.za

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