A victim of depression from Kinmel Bay who suffered terrible head injuries in a desperate suicide attempt is now an ambassador for a charity which helps people with similar life-changing trauma.
Cindie Vowles, from Kinmel Bay, is backing Headway and attended a charity event at leading North Wales law firm Swayne Johnson to draw attention to the work it does with severely brain-damaged people.
Her own tragic tale began with depression which caused her to attempt suicide by jumping off the A55 bridge at Bodelwyddan – she survived but with severe head injuries which left her in a coma and have caused her major personal issues.
But the extent of those injuries only became apparent when she was jailed for an arson incident over ten years ago and H M Prison Service referred her for treatment at a special brain injury rehabilitation unit in Northampton.
Cindie, who is in her 50s and has injuries to her left arm and her legs, said: “They were very good there and helped me a lot but afterwards I still had a lot of issues with my confidence and my ability to cope and with physical injury too.
“I was allocated Sian Thompson, a solicitor with Swayne Johnson, as a trustee for me and she helped me buy a house but I was still very, very miserable because I felt so alone.
“Sian encouraged me to join Headway and even came and picked me up to bring me to the meeting and it has helped me so much because there were other people there in the same situation as me.
“It has helped me come out of myself and join other groups and do other things because now I’ve got the confidence.
“I’ve realised it’s not just me and I don’t feel so isolated and alone because people did abuse me because I talked differently or looked different.
“It was Sian’s persistence that got me there and from that I have joined other groups and met other people.
“It has helped me a lot. I don’t feel so alone now and I can keep in touch with Headway if I need any help or just for a chat.
“My mother was always very supportive of me but she is getting older now and is visually impaired but she comes with me on trips with Headway now so it’s helping both of us.
“At the time of my injury my mother and people I knew weren’t given the help to deal with someone with a severe brain injury – the people close to you don’t have that sort of training and that’s where a charity like Headway can really help.”
Swayne Johnson solicitor Sian Thompson said: “I have worked with Headway for a number of years as a Court of Protection solicitor looking after the interests of people who have acquired head injuries.
“It’s very different to dementia cases and can have a very complex effect on families and Headway should be better known than it is because of the unique work it does and the people it supports.
“The greater the awareness of what Headway does then the more people like Cindie it can help.”
Headway Conwy and Denbighshire is shortly to move to new headquarters in Rhyl and Rosemary Holland, from Rhyl, who has been the chair of the group for eight years, said: “It was Sian who got Cindie to come along and now she has embraced the group she has really made massive progress.
“Swayne Johnson have been very supportive of us with Hats Off For Headway and with other help, particularly from Sian.”
For more on Swayne Johnson go to http://www.swaynejohnson.com/
Swayne Johnson solicitors hats off to Headway charity day to raise money for Headway; Pictured are Rosemary Holland from Headway with Headway client Cindie Vowles and Swayne Johnson staff Helen Thompson, Natalie Noton and Kristin Charlton.