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.

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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.

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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.


"Healthy teens are better at identifying strategies to deal with barriers. KIDS WITH ABI'S CAN'T!"
Shari Wade; USA
"My colleague was blown away by the tremendous work your organisation is doing for society."  Social Worker
"Different 'experts' involved in paediatric neuro-rehabilitation come from different organisational cultures which causes conflict and has a negative effect on the outcomes for the child."
Barbara O'Connell; Ireland
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
"Families need to be properly supported as 'resilience' is key to delivering successful outcomes for children and young people."
Roberta De Pompeii; USA
"There are problems with getting people into neuro-rehab. Those most in need are often those most excluded due to a lack of socio-economic resources."
Vicki Anderson; Australia
"Participation in teen sports and normal activities leads to improved quality of life for children and young people post brain injury and helps to maximise outcomes"
Claire Willis; Australia
This is the best support plan we have ever seen that will deliver the best outcomes for this young person.  The costings are 'spot on' and realistic'.  Direct Payments Team.  
"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
"With support parents cope better so the child has a better recovery"
Andrea Palacio-Navarro; Spain

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