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Philip Grigsbey and his story

Philip Grigsbey was a happy, healthy 9 year old boy...something that changed on October 14th 1980 when a driver of a campervan did not see him riding his bicycle.

Philip was run over, his bicycle jammed under the wheel base of the van, Philip’s head hit the windscreen of the van and was thrown 30 metres from the point of impact into oncoming traffic. He suffered multiple injuries with many of his bones broken, including his skull, and shattering his collarbone, ribs, elbow, thigh, pelvis, shin and ankle.  An off-duty nurse, was one of the first people at the accident scene helped to moved an unconscious Philip to a position allowing him to breathe; It was expected that Philip’s critical condition would lead to death.

Philip was in the Intensive Care Unit on life support for 6 weeks and during this time on 3 occasions he slid close to death.  Philip was unconscious for 3½ months and gradually came out of the coma over a period of time.  He had numerous intensive operations inserting skeletal pins, plates, screws, callipers and plaster casts.  His body bore and endured constant agonising pain after each operation and during recovery. Philip has lived with constant pain every day since the accident.  The verdict was given that Philip would never be “normal” again.

Now as an adult Philip has undegone many surgeries for his brain and body, is now permanently in a wheelchair and requires someone to do most of his personal care.  Philip’s parents, Kevin and Lynne, found comfort in BrainLink’s services. “When we first came to BrainLink, we felt exhausted and that we were on this journey alone.  You will appreciate the relief we felt, and continue to feel, being around people who care, who understand our situation and who are able to help”.  

“There are many days where we struggle with our thoughts and emotions that his brain injury has placed on our once normal relationship”.  As Lynne and Kevin become older it is getting harder for them to care for their son on a full-time basis, it has been suggested to them that they admit Philip into a community care house.  This is such a difficult decision for them as they have been right by his side for his whole life and such decisions take their toll.  “Caring does not stop but the times we come to BrainLink we feel included and connected to others in similar situations.  BrainLink is like a comfort blanket.  It’s not just having some time off from being carers, which is incredibly valuable, it’s being surrounded by expertise and people providing excellent information”. 

“BrainLink can be a lifeline.  It is the best care for carers and families and helps us survive”.

BrainLink supports families like the Grigsbeys by providing respite, a break away from the everyday challenges that carers face.  BrainLink also helps to provide and source information such as other full time care opportunities that are available in Victoria. Families like the Grigsbeys return from a BrainLink retreat feeling a lot more rested, positive and able to cope.  Help BrainLink provide support to many more families like the Grigsbeys.