Bacterial meningitis and acquired brain injury

The Priory Mount Eveswell in Newport, South Wales, specialises in neurorehabilitation treatment programmes for people with neurodisabilities as a result of an acquired brain injury (ABI).

Michelle* arrived at Mount Eveswell for treatment in January 2017, after spending 95 days in a Cambodian Intensive Care Unit (ICU) after contracting bacterial meningitis which left her with an acquired brain injury.

Michelle and her husband were in transit back to their home in Cambodia from the UK when she developed 'flu-like' symptoms. Her symptoms developed further after arriving back in Cambodia and Michelle was taken to hospital in Phnom Penh (Cambodia), where she was diagnosed with bacterial meningitis.

After more than three months in hospital in Cambodia, Michelle was able to fly back to the UK to continue her post-acute treatment at Mount Eveswell.

Rehabilitation at The Priory Mount Eveswell

On admission to Mount Eveswell, Michelle was unable to stand without the help of two staff members and a standing frame. She had anxiety around community and home visits, her short-term memory was affected and she had intermittent, mild confusion. Michelle needed to be catheterised and had incontinence issues.

The treatment team at Mount Eveswell aimed to help Michelle to maximise her confidence and independence through her personalised neurorehabilitation programme which included physiotherapy, occupational therapy and psycho-education.

Using muscle strengthening, balance and bed exercises, as well as focusing on her mobility and posture, Michelle's physiotherapy team were able to help her to make progress towards more independent mobility.

Michelle's physiotherapy programme was complemented by the work that she did with her occupational therapy (OT) team. The OT team worked to improve Michelle's general stamina, core stability, upper limb movement and functional standing. The outcome of this was increased independence within day-to-day functional activities.

As well as providing care for Michelle's physical disabilities, her treatment included psycho-education which focused on Michelle's 'fight or flight' response. This treatment enabled Michelle to normalise, rather than pathologise her feelings of anxiety, particularly around trips away from the centre.

Spurred by her own motivation and the rehabilitation programme developed specifically for her by her treatment team, Michelle started showing improvement in her anxiety levels and movement functions. She was able to walk short distances with a walking frame (with supervision), and was washing and dressing with minimal support. Michelle's catheter was able to be removed and she was able to use the toilet.

Michelle was able to be discharged to her new home in the UK at the end of April 2017 after establishing continued support from her local community teams.

"Michelle had fabulous care in Newport [at The Priory Mount Eveswell] and developed very quickly. She was discharged with full control of her bowel and bladder, the ability to walk short distances with a frame and mentally in a good place," Michelle's husband explained.

"We are now resettling in to our home in West Wales and have plans to start our own business. The support we had from the Royal Phnom Penh Hospital and The Priory Mount Eveswell in Newport was unbelievable; we will always be indebted to all of the staff."

Michael Sanchez, Clinical Services Manager at Mount Eveswell provided treatment to Michelle.

He said: "Being a part of Michelle's treatment team and seeing her ongoing progress and discharge back home is so rewarding."

For more information about The Priory Mount Eveswell please click here, call 0800 840 3219 or click here to make an enquiry.

*Name changed to protect patient identity