Never Say Die: Jacinta Hampson’s story.
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.
Posts in this blog have either been narrated or written by Uniting Participant Jacinta Hampson, with support from the Uniting team.
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Post 5 | Going home.
If this is your first time reading this blog, we suggest you go and start from the beginning.
Published 17 May 2021
This post was written by 21-year-old Jacinta in 1988, 2 years after her accident.
Even after leaving Shenton Park, I had to return every day for six months of intensive therapy.
When I arrived home, everything was different. I saw our driveway where I used to kiss my boyfriend goodbye. The same driveway where I spent long hours of fun running around playing basketball.
But those days were gone now.
Now I saw things from a different perspective – from a wheelchair.
Even our dog reacted differently and refused to go near her old buddy because something wasn’t quite right.
I can remember painstakingly learning to walk on the front lawn. It was so frustrating taking 3 steps then falling head over heels and having to pick myself back up again.
I also remember thinking how great I was for sitting on a normal chair at the dinner table instead of a wheelchair, and for eating with normal knives and forks without throwing food everywhere – in hospital, I had to eat with utensils designed especially for people with disability.
My friends at this stage were all very willing to come and visit me but as time passed, so did they.
I can’t really blame them – I could no longer keep up with them, so they left me behind. Besides, it’s a well-known fact that with a head injury, you can lose your friends because you become a different person.
However, I have 1 very close friend who has been really wonderful, and I have another who has been very supportive. I’m now involved with a young man who is special to me. He has learned to cope with my fairly erratic behaviour.
It is crucial to a person’s development to have the support of a family behind them. My parents have been very supportive throughout the last 2 and a half years. My 2 sisters treat me no differently than before the accident – we still fight just like we used to!