Angus woman pumping iron in fitness drive following brain injury accident

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An Angus woman left with a brain injury following a sledge fall is pumping iron to boost her recovery.

Anne Johnston from Forfar has managed to get back to the gym and is working on her physical strength as she sets herself new goals.

Anne is still making slow progress almost 18 months after she was diagnosed with post-concussion syndrome after banging her head while sledging with her family in Arbroath in March 2018.

She was taken to the emergency GP surgery five days after the accident because she woke to find her speech was slow and she was struggling with basic movements.

Anne, who has overcome balance issues but is still having difficulty walking, is now lifting weights in the gym, which she said is helping her focus on something other than her  injury.

Ann at Results Gym, Forfar.

She said: “It feels so empowering to be working on my physical strength which is helping my mental health too.

“I’m happy to be focusing on another aspect of my life which has much quicker and achievable goals than brain injury recovery.”

Anne has spoken about the link between brain injuries and mental health difficulties after she suffered from depression following the diagnosis.

“With my brain injury recovery still being quite slow I wanted to do something for me.

“I enlisted the help of a personal trainer and I’ve been trying to focus on what I can actually do with my abilities.

“Before my brain injury I used to love being fit and strong and would exercise regularly including going to spin classes three times a week and hiking up mountains.

“It’s so important for me to grow a stronger body because it makes me feel good in myself and it’s very empowering.

“I can’t tell you how good it feels to be able to do something that is building my strength. It makes me feel good, it helps my mental health and it gives me something to focus on.”

She said it has been 18 months since her injury and although she feels she’s making progress, there is still a long way to go.

“I’m happy to be focusing on another aspect of my life which has much quicker and achievable goals than brain injury recovery,” she added.

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