One moment Matthew was on his bike after leaving a party, the next he woke up in Intensive Care. When Matthew fell off his bike, he hit his head on the concrete and suffered a bleed on his brain. With a severe head injury such as Matthew’s, every minute counts. It was in the early hours of the morning and London’s Air Ambulance team attended to him by a rapid response car and with the help of the London Ambulance Service paramedics anaesthetised him on scene. They then escorted him to Royal London Hospital, placing an alert to the hospital teams on the way. A brain scan confirmed the doctor’s suspicion. Matthew’s injuries were so severe he required brain surgery.
In a poem he has kindly shared with us, Matthew recalls the moment when he woke up in hospital, made immobile by catheters and surrounded by beeping monitors. He had never written a poem before. Following his accident, he could hardly stir a cup of tea. To have recovered to the point where he can write, let alone write a poem, is simply remarkable. When Matthew was asked whether he would consider sharing his poem with our supporters and other patients, his response was: “If it has an effect on even one person then I'm happy.” So here it is.
I can’t explain the desperation I felt in that hospital bed.
To wake up, in a hospital bed.,
All thoughts of acknowledging are dimmed down
One track mind
It’s like been given a sky box with one thousand channels,
You hadn’t even thought of the other channels
I’m so weak.
The effort to move my arm seems
All the hospital beeps sound like a horror movie.
A horror movie that you’re starring
Thoughts are draining
I’m just so exhausted
And you fall into the abyss
for a brief moment, you feel like a 7 year old child holding onto a comfort blanket, but it’s just a hospital blanket, you pull it up towards your chin
And a sudden urge fills you with sadness
I want my mummy
An adult, lying in a hospital bed, but, I’m instantly transported back to my inner child.
You are just a child, You imagine lying in an oversized hospital bed, so alone.
And somehow you notice a nurse filling paperwork right by my bedside. You don’t even think about how long has she been here, and she becomes the Holy Grail,
NEED TO REACH THAT HAND
I JUST NEED TO TOUCH THAT HAND
THE EMOTION FEELS STRONG ENOUGH
LIKE life DEPENDS ON IT
The whole image blurs,
Out of focus
There’s nothing else in the image
Apart from a nurses hand
You look at them
They’re completely unaware of how your heart aches to touch them
And that scares me
Please don’t walk away
PLEASE DON’T WALK AWAY!
Got to touch her hand. Please dear God just let me touch her
I need them to know how I need a human touch
My eyes look distraught
I can say confidently
That I won’t want to touch someone else again, with that strong urge,
When you feel like you’ve lost all hope,
You’ll feel it,
Just remember the next time you touch a human being now. Your inner child is sleeping now.