Adrian in a nutshell

My name is Adrian and I was hit by a car on October 28, 1987- 2 days before my 14th birthday. I was knocked off my bike and landed on the road head first.

I woke up after being unconscious for 4 weeks. I suffered Acquired Brain Injury- unable to walk, talk and very minimal use of the left side of my body.

Doctor said that I will slowly improve over the next 2 years, but talking will be the last to improve. I was determined to prove him wrong, so I started talking after a month. It took me 6 months to be able to get out of my wheelchair and then another 6 months to walk unaided (albeit slowly!).

After 1 year, I went back to school part-time. I traveled from school to hospital appointments daily. It was difficult for me, as I had to deal with the pressures of school and rehabilitation concurrently, but I managed to adapt, grow and continue through and pass year 12.

After school I worked for a while selling lollies door to door (where I ended up eating half my profits!), until I got a job working at a clothing wholesaler in Carlton. And I’m still here 26 years later.

I’ve had many adventures along the way- many times I fell over and had to pick myself up (both metaphorically and physically!).

Lachie – Heading Out participant

My experience has been fantastic. I was apprehensive when I first attended Heading Out at the Wharf Hotel, but upon discovering the other individuals who are dealing with issues I am facing, it just worked. The food and company is fantastic and it’s a great outlet for the issues you face on a daily basis and to openly express yourself.

Sadly, Australia is well behind the rest of the modern world in the treatment of brain injuries. As a result, the group is great for individuals to pass on any treatments which have worked or been effective.

Heading Out is a social group of young adults who have suffered head injuries. They can vary in severity but we are all living with disabilities or impairments.

Nick – an ABILiTy member

“Let me spread my wings & learn how to fly – again”

Heads Together and the ABILiTy program helps people with an ABI get together and build life skills. I’ve relearned how to socially conduct myself and work with other people with an ABI. I’ve made new friends and learned how to navigate life. I hope to be able to work my own way into specific courses e.g. further education.

Since a car accident in December 2013 left Nick with a severe brain injury he has come a long way from coma to joining the ABI Leadership Team.


Hey! I’m Reece. I was in a car accident in 2007 and have since had an ABI. The injury has since had quite the impact on my life, both positive and negative.

Let’s start with the negative. I suffer from fatigue and have difficulty with concentration; I find it difficult to process new information or too much information.

Now for some positivity. I have attended Heads Together for ABI camps since 2007 and have been volunteering at the camps since 2014. I finished year 12 in 2011 and I am currently studying nursing which i have almost completed.

Children have strokes too!

I suffered a stroke at the age of six in 1999.

Since then I have had many struggles and triumphs. My struggles include learning to do everything one handed, as a result of my stroke I now have hemiplegia which means I do not have full use of my right arm and leg. I also struggle with fatigue, anxiety and memory issues. I especially struggled with my memory issues through my schooling and VCE years, I have also struggled with my sense of identity and finding my place and goals within this challenge that I was presented.

Now at 23 years old, I have also seen many triumphs throughout this time. I volunteer at Heads Together for ABI which has not only pushed me to strive for more but has pushed me to want more. I have learnt to do everything one handed, learnt to ride a 2-wheeled bike despite my balance issues, learnt to drive a car and completed VCE. I am now working as a carer for other young adults with acquired brain injuries.

Taylor – Living with an ABI

I’ve had an ABI since 2003. I was hit by a car while crossing a street and spent 2 months in hospital. It has been 13 years and I am still dealing with the consequences. I get tired easily, I find it hard to concentrate and I can be very emotional at times.

I was very lost after my car accident because I didn’t know anyone else with an ABI. Then I found Heads Together camp. I met others with an ABI and made friends. I have been a volunteer on the ABI team since 2013 and I am now volunteering behind the scenes of Heads Together for ABI as well. Heads Together for ABI as a whole has changed my life.

The initial positive change was attending the weekend camps, but being more involved in Heads Together for ABI has inspired me and motivated me beyond what anything ever has. My volunteering and opportunity to get to know families of people with an ABI has helped me understand myself better and has assisted me in discovering my dream career: Nursing.

Meet Chelsea

Amazing words of advice from one of our camp families. “Reach high, don’t give up and keep trying”. Chelsea and her mum tell her inspiring story of recovery after an accident at the age of 5 left her with a serious brain injury.

Chelsea’s achievements and the support of her incredible family help to inspire other victims of road trauma on the road to recovery. Go Chelsea!