Ben Again is the inspirational memoir of traumatic brain injury survivor Ben Clench from Sussex
It tells the story of how he determinedly recovered from a near-vegetative and amnesiac state to regain his sense of self, pass a second Master’s, run a half-marathon and learn to live a normal life again.
Ben was only 27 when he and his girlfriend, Jazz, were hit by a car while on holiday in the Dominican Republic in September 2010. Jazz was killed instantly. Ben suffered a severe head injury which left him in a coma and at the mercy of third-world hospital care.
His family swung into action and, thanks to their persistence and the support of Ben’s £10 travel insurance policy, he eventually received good treatment and a few weeks later was flown back to the UK by private air ambulance. He was still in a coma and, the physical and mental prognosis was very uncertain.
During a month in intensive care he slowly emerged from the coma - with no memory and little physical control or ability.
Expectations for recovery were low, yet Ben, with the help of his family and friends, defied medical opinion and, within a few short months he was out of hospital and embarking on an intensive self-directed rehabilitation programme.
Key milestones included going to the Glastonbury Festival six months after leaving intensive care, much to the dismay of the medical support team. A mere nine months after release from hospital, and less than a year out of intensive care, he was studying full-time for a Master’s degree, striving to regain his cognitive abilities with a view to resuming his career in international development.
This book is unusual in that Ben’s story is told not only by himself, but through the contributions of 25 others.
I wake and my body isn’t working. As I lie here, I can feel things sticking into me. In my arm. In my throat. In my cock.
I sense it’s not right but I can’t think why. I can’t think at all, in fact. Trying to think is too difficult. Confused snippets of thought slip by. They escape me. My mind isn’t working. There’s a tube in my nose. I try to twitch my nose. It’s uncomfortable. I reach my hand up and tug on the tube. It hurts like hell. I don’t know what it is, what it’s doing there. I fleetingly sense I don’t even know who I am.
Another waking. The confusion is still there. A face looms, close to mine. I try to speak. I want to ask where I am, who I am. I try to say something but produce small sounds without meaning. The face disappears.
My thinking is all jumbled, questions surface and sink without real understanding. I do not feel happy or sad. Emotions and meaning are lost in confusion. Only anxiety comes with the confusion.
Anxiety, I do feel.
Or nothing. Just nothingness.
Then I sleep.
Time passes. I wake often, fleetingly. Each time I feel the confusion and anxiety. Trying to understand is exhausting. It’s better I fall asleep again.
A different time. I can hear voices. They tell me to do things. “Push, Ben. Push against me.” A hand is gripping my foot, bending my leg. I try to push. I am responsible for the actions demanded of Ben. But Ben? Who’s Ben?
Someone is talking to me with familiar sounds. Different sounds. I can follow what is being said to me. Sit up, look at these pictures. Give me a kiss. The person, a woman, seems to know me. I try to speak but my voice isn’t there. She smiles, encouraging me. The anxiety comes back. I don’t know her. I don’t know anyone. I still don’t know who I am or why I am here.
Paper copies of book
Tuesday, 7 March 2017
Hello, just to let everyone know the book is now available as paper bound formats. I know some subscribers where wanting for there book groups to read a paper bound version.
You can get this through Amazon at this link: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Ben-Again-inspirational-traumatic-survivor-ebook/dp/B01NBW3IJW
Drafting of the final manuscript for release
Tuesday, 25 October 2016
I would like to thank everybody who has contributed to making 100% of the funding target.
Having reached 100% I have worked on the manuscript to get this into the final draft which has been a useful process. This has been going through this and explaning the text a lot more fully. I am now at the stage where this has been fully completed and am waiting for a proof reader to check the document…
These people are helping to fund Ben Again.