Nationwide Occupational Therapy, All Ages, All Injuries
21 March 2023

Jada's Story

"On 20 November 2018 I was crossing the road on my way home from school, when I was hit by the car. I blacked out, I remember waking up on the ground, seeing car lights and people around me. I suffered various injuries, including a traumatic brain injury, as well as injuries to my chest, lower back and knee. I was 14 years old," says Jada Marsh, now 18.

Jada returned to school four weeks after the accident, but it wasn’t long before she began experiencing difficulties keeping up at school. "I noticed that I was no longer excelling in Chemistry. I found it difficult to read textbooks, I couldn’t focus. I started dropping subjects that I was previously doing well in. I later dropped History and Spanish."

When Jada was initially referred to Think Therapy 1st, she was struggling with fatigue and emotional dysregulation impacting her ability to complete activities of daily living. She was impacted physically, socially and cognitively.

Difficulties with executive functioning had become a concern for Jada, with her struggling to organise and initiate activities and having difficulty sustaining focus and attention. A talented violinist, Jada was also noticing that she was unable to perform at her pre-injury frequency and level.

"I blamed myself. I told myself that I was lazy and simply needed to put in more effort with my studies and violin practice. It wasn’t until I began my rehab with Fiona Peters, my SROT (Specialist Rehabilitation Occupational Therapist), that I started to understand why I was struggling. I learnt about brain development and the functions of the lobes of the brain to understand the impact of my head injury. Fiona helped me to understand the impact and helped me to prioritise the goals that were most important to me."

Jada embarked on a rehab programme which initially focussed on working collaboratively with Jada, her family and her school to break down barriers to effective communication and develop an open and trusting working relationship. Jada learnt, practiced and embedded strategies to support her resilience, planning and emotional regulation.

She was experiencing symptoms of social and generalised anxiety compounded by poor sleep.

Graded community participation work enabled Jada to demonstrate increased confidence in social situations with others, whilst working on her memory, attention, problem-solving skills, planning, organisation, communication and self-awareness. Think Therapy 1s can instruct and co-ordinate third party services, and in Jada’s case, this was imperative in ensuring that she received the right interventions, at theright time, and that the multi-disciplinary team were aligned in their treatment planning and work towards common goals.

"Therapy sessions were fun and engaging and that helped me to practice and retain the strategies I had learnt. We completed sessions in the community, we met at cafes and we went Geocaching, orienteering, joined a local choir, we even had a session at Go Ape where we completed relationship-building exercises. Fiona gave me the choice and control to choose what goals I wanted to work on and how I wanted to work on them. She steered me in the right direction, but it always felt like a partnership and I felt empowered. It was a collaboration."

Through offering a graded level of support, following developmental guidelines, and empowering Jada to work on her goals in an environment of ‘learning by doing’ and building resilience to making mistakes and learning from them, Jada made consistent and significant progress.

"One of my greatest achievements was completing my A-Levels in Music and Business. I almost gave up Business until Fiona helped me to communicate my needs to my tutors, ensuring I had the right support in place. I passed my exams and secured a place at The Royal College of Music!"

Jada has since participated in some high-level musical events on a national stage, including performing alongside Robbie Williams for Soccer Aid at West Ham’s London Stadium. Last year she performed with The Chineke Orchestra String Quartet at Buckingham Palace, where King Charles hosted a Reception to celebrate the Commonwealth Diaspora. "I am half Trinidadian and was lucky to be chosen to perform for the Trinidadian Embassy, and they have picked me to wave the flag for King Charles at Westminster Abbey in March 2023."

Jada has gone on to pass her driving theory test and is currently taking driving lessons. She has begun her four-year Bachelor of Music degree course at The Royal College of Music, with the support of a student learning agreement which highlights her needs and provides her with supporting structures to optimise her outcomes. She has moved into a home with her fiancé, demonstrating independent life skills, and aspires to become a soloist or a chamber musician.

"Before my rehab, I couldn’t see life beyond college. I thought about my future and it was just black. If it wasn’t for my rehab I would have definitely not made it through college to be here at university today. Now, I have faith in my own abilities and I know I can overcome anything. My future isn’t black anymore, it’s exciting!" reflects Jada. 

It was clear from the start that the legal teams were on the same page and wanted what was best for Jada

"It was wonderful to be part of Jada’s rehab programme. It was clear from the start that the legal teams were on the same page and wanted what was best for Jada. Jada’s progress has been bolstered by the responsive legal teams who have been committed to the rehab process and the collaborative working with a variety of disciplines across the health and education sector," says Fiona Peters from Think Therapy 1st.

Kerry Gillespie, from Hudgell Solicitors said: "Jada’s case was incredibly challenging for a number of reasons. To have the unique outlook of Think Therapy 1st guiding the rehabilitation in this matter has been essential to such great rehabilitation outcomes for Jada. Fiona Peters (Specialist Rehabilitation Occupational Therapist) has worked tirelessly on this case, always putting Jada first and going above and beyond to ensure the best outcomes. The ability to work with such specialist Occupational Therapists in these cases ensures the best outcomes for the most unique clients."

Targeted therapy

Think Therapy 1st aim to enhance the engagement of clients by offering interactive, fun and targeted interventions to meet needs. The interventions promote or restore foundation skill acquisition, to empower the individual to achieve their optimal development and functional outcomes. We look at self-care, leisure and productivity, including return to work or education.

Think Therapy 1st offer a range of programmes, including a specialist Children and Young Adults Service (CAYAS). The type of injury sustained the age at which this occurs and the capacity to adapt and thrive despite adversity develops through the dynamic interaction of supportive relationships with pivotal opportunities and milestones throughout the child or adolescent’s transition to young adulthood. For this reason, Think Therapy 1st's CAYAS provision encompasses ages 0-25 and is designed to align with the Education and Health Care Plan Agenda.

Think Therapy 1st accept instructions from solicitors, insurers, case managers and directly from clients. They work with individuals following severe and catastrophic injuries, including brain injury, spinal injury, amputations, trauma and orthopaedic injuries, as well as psychological injury and pain conditions.

Using a fixed-fee model, there are no hidden surprises for funders, with Think Therapy 1st doing what they say they will, when they say they will, for the price they say they will.