History

Our Founder and Chair Jan Rock founded this charity following her own son’s serious accident. In 2010 the 16 year old sustained serious multiple trauma injuries following a climbing accident; which included a severe traumatic brain injury.

Jan and her husband spent every day at Callum’s bedside in PICU and when he emerged from a medically induced coma – three and a half weeks later – he couldn’t see, talk, walk, move, sit up, or swallow. Medics told the family that ‘this is the Callum that they had got back’ but as his parents, they were determined that Callum would have a good recovery. Jan therefore has first-hand experience of child brain injury and the hidden complex ongoing effects that affect everyday life; which is what makes Matrix Neurological so unique. We have actually ‘lived’ the nightmare!

On being discharged from hospital ten weeks later, Jan stopped working to concentrate on her son’s neurological rehabilitation as nothing else existed to effectively meet his complex needs and support his on-going recovery. Determined to help her son and following extensive research she devised her own recovery programme based on sound problem solving and project management techniques, which very quickly delivered astonishing results that surprised even his doctors.

image3 image5 image4

Ten months after his discharge from hospital Callum was back in school; however the teachers did not understand brain injury or his changed support needs; despite the guidance provided by Paediatric Consultants.

Jan also fought to gain the help and support Callum needed to continue to progress. Navigating her way around very disjointed public service provision was very difficult and extremely stressful; because community professionals didn’t understand brain injury either.  However through campaigning and her sheer determination she obtained a direct payment from Middlesbrough Council.  This meant she could source the right support for Callum that would continue his ongoing recovery.

image6

By June 2012 Callum had made such significant progress he was selected to be an Olympic Torchbearer in the Torchbearers Relay.

Four years after his accident Callum was still making significant improvements and he completed a 2 year BTEC Extended Diploma at Middlesbrough College, where he gained the highest grade possible; triple Distinction Star (D* D* D*) and 420 UCAS Points. This earned him a place at University to undertake a BSc. Honours Degree in Physiotherapy.  Here life wasn’t easy for Callum.  He enjoyed the course and the independence, but sadly he endured bullying, regular discrimination and he was socially excluded to the extent that his health suffered – so he left.  He is now enjoying life and academic success at another university closer to home.

Jan is now using her experiences and aspirations for Callum’s ongoing recovery to help other children, young people and their parents and carers in their long road to recovery following an acquired brain injury.

MATRIX is now making an important and positive long term contribution to the recovery, safety, welfare and treatment of brain injured children and young people.


Child 1 - Aged 14 and 3 years after a traumatic brain injury
2019 2020 Change
REASONING 301/800 426/800   +  125
MEMORY 181/800 304/800   +  123
ATTENTION 463/800 573/800   +  110
COORDINATION 47/800 309/800   +  262
PERCEPTION 158/800 374/800   +  216
"We need to harness the power of brain plasticity for treating children and young people with brain injury, especially at the key ages of 0-3 and at ages 10-16"
Professor Bryan Kolb; Canada
"We would like to see earlier identification and support for children with brain injuries to help them succeed in school."
Dalton Leong; Chief Executive of the Children's Trust
"Taking brain injured children home causes high stress for families. Disjointed services exacerbate family stress levels."
Deborah Andrews; New Zealand
"Thousands of children and young people living in the UK today without the help and support that can make a huge difference to their lives"
Dalton Leong; Chief Executive of the Children's Trust
"My colleague was blown away by the tremendous work your organisation is doing for society."  Social Worker
"Often families don't have the financial capability to access services. We need to rethink how we deliver neuro-rehab services to children and young people"
Vicki Anderson; Australia
"Our 10 year study proves that family-led home-based neuro-rehab interventions deliver the best outcomes for children and young people"
Lucia Braga; Brazil
"Too often children and young people with ABI are discharged from hospital without specialist brain support that they and their families need to overcome lifelong challenges"
Andrew Ross; former Chief Executive of the Children's Trust
"NHS clinicians struggle with what intervention to prioritise in paediatric neuro-rehabilitation due to limited clinical time and the complexity of needs. Children, clinicians, parents and schools all have different neuro-rehabilitation priorities"
Recolo; United Kingdom

OUR MISSION: To work to remove inequalities for children & young people affected by acquired brain injury; and provide effective support to their families that makes a real difference.

Council for Disabled Children Community Funded Charity Excellence Lottery Funded Youth Foundation BBC CiN