Never Say Die: Jacinta Hampson’s Story Part 3

An accident left 18-year-old Jacinta Hampson with catastrophic head injuries that doctors warned she would never survive.

But Jacinta fought back. After emerging from a coma and learning how to swallow, eat, walk and talk again, she began the journey to rebuild the rest of her life from the ground up.

Now 52 years old, Jacinta shares her story here.

Close up of Jacinta smiling at camera, aged 52

Posts in this blog have either been narrated or written by Uniting Participant Jacinta Hampson, with support from the Uniting team.

If you have feedback to share about this blog, get in touch.

Post 3 | An altered state.

Published 15 May 2021

If this is your first time reading this blog, we suggest you go and start from the beginning.

This post written by 21-year-old Jacinta in 1988, 2 years after her accident.

Close up of Jacinta smiling at camera after her accident, wearing glasses

Brain injury is so complex, that to try and explain its implications is very difficult. The agonies and frustrations I experienced and am still experiencing – albeit to a much lesser degree – are inconceivable to the average person.

Two and a half years may sound like a long time, but it’s not in terms of a head injury. To include everything is an impossibility. One day, I hope to write a book about my ordeal.

In the accident, my brain stem was damaged. When the brain is damaged, it causes a variety of different reactions and problems. Because the brain stem is largely in control of motor functions, I had grave difficulty with my mobility and speech. I am still trying to combat this by joining a health club and working with a private speech therapist.

My dream of becoming a glamorous newsreader on television had been destroyed by my accident. My speech was difficult to understand and in the early days, even my family misunderstood me. I still have difficulties more than 2 years later.