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Danson ‘lost memory and ability to read’ after suffering head injury on holiday

The Olympic gold medallist also felt like she had lost her identity but says she is now on the road to recovery.

Danson ‘lost memory and ability to read’ after suffering head injury on holiday

Great Britain hockey captain Alex Danson has revealed she lost her memory and “the ability to read” after suffering a head injury last year.

The 33-year-old hit her head on a concrete chair while on holiday six months ago, suffering a mild brain injury, and has not played since. She missed the Champions Trophy in November and was left out of the GB squad for the inaugural FIH Pro League.

Danson believes she is finally getting her life back on track and in a post on Twitter on Monday she provided an insight of the frightening effects of the fall and an update on her recovery.

She said: “I knew straight away something wasn’t right, but as a typical athlete, I waved it away and tried to pretend I was OK. Six weeks later I was rushed into hospital with a suspected bleed, being violently sick and having seizures.

England Women v Netherlands Women – Investec International – Lee Valley Hockey Centre
Alex Danson has been unable to play hockey since the fall six months ago (Nigel French/PA)

“Six months on and it’s been the hardest experience I have ever been though.

“When I came out of hospital a walk to the bathroom was near impossible and the very most I could do. I was in bed for 24 hours a day for weeks on end. I couldn’t tolerate light, sound or people talking to me. My memory, concentration and ability to read or look at screens was zero.

“I’m getting there. I can now walk for nearly 30 minutes, I can hold a conversation and remember how to boil an egg! (Sadly it’s not improved my cooking!) My headaches are still bad and I feel dizzy most days, but one thing I can guarantee is I WILL get there.

“One of the hardest parts in all of this, aside from the physical trauma, has been losing my identity. Going from leading my country, aspiring to qualify for the Tokyo Olympics to just trying to get through a day.

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It’s been quite a journey….. . . 6 months ago whilst on holiday I hit the back of my head. I knew straight away something wasn’t right, but as a typical athlete, I waved it away and tried to pretend I was ok. . . 6 weeks later I was rushed into hospital with a suspected bleed, being violently sick and having seizures. . . 6 months on and it’s been the hardest experience I have ever been though. When I came out of hospital a walk to the bathroom was near impossible and the very most I could do. I was in bed for 24 hours a day for weeks on end. I couldn’t tolerate light, sound or people talking to me. My memory, concentration and ability to read or look at screens was zero. . . I’m getting there, I can now walk for nearly 30 minutes, I can hold a conversation and remember how to boil an egg! (Sadly it’s not improved my cooking!) My headaches are still bad and I feel dizzy most days, but one thing I can guarantee is I WILL get there. . . One of the hardest part in all of this, aside from the physical trauma, has been losing my identity. Going from leading my country, aspiring to qualify for the Tokyo Olympics to just trying to get through a day. . . Head injuries are serious, debilitating and lonely. To everyone that has been in touch, my family and to my amazing boy, you have been my lifeline ❤️ . . When I have days when I feel well enough I will document some of my recovery…I will share what I have learnt as I also have so much to be thankful for . . . I’ve not been well enough up to now and I’ve not been sure whether it’s something I wanted to do. Goodness, people go through far worse than this and have to be much stronger that I. But, I’ve always gained most joy in life by trying to serve others, and just maybe this will help one other person support someone going through the same ordeal. I think in doing this, it will help me. . . For all this has taken from me in the short term, I am determined I will take more from IT in the long term. . . #mildtraumaticbraininjury #concussion #recovery #iWILLbeatthis @headway_uk

A post shared by ALEX DANSON MBE (@alexdanson15) on

“Head injuries are serious, debilitating and lonely. To everyone that has been in touch, my family and to my amazing boy, you have been my lifeline.”

Danson plans to give further updates about her journey and recovery in the hope that her story might help others who are suffering the same trauma.

She continued: “When I have days when I feel well enough, I will document some of my recovery, I will share what I have learnt as I also have so much to be thankful for.

England Women v Netherlands Women – Investec International – Lee Valley Hockey Centre
Alex Danson still remains some way off a return to action (Nigel French/PA)

“I’ve not been well enough up to now and I’ve not been sure whether it’s something I wanted to do. Goodness, people go through far worse than this and have to be much stronger than I. But, I’ve always gained most joy in life by trying to serve others, and just maybe this will help one other person support someone going through the same ordeal. I think in doing this, it will help me.

“For all this has taken from me in the short term, I am determined I will take more from it in the long term.”

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