A battle of mind over injury

WORDS: Lynn Williams PHOTOGRAPHY Lynn Williams

When farmer Barry ‘Dick’ Williams suffered a Traumatic Brain Injury after falling from a ladder, he fell into a deep depression. But since a chance flip through ORM helped lead Dick and his wife Lynn to Brain Care’s revolutionary EEG biofeedback treatment,  Dick is on the way to not only regulating but correcting the physical, emotional and functional damage his injury caused. Lynn shares his road to recovery with Ocean Road.

IN November 2018, our lives changed forever.

The day started out like any other, caretaking a sheep and cattle property in western Queensland. We both went about our usual duties and after some time of not having seen Dick, I went to investigate. I headed to the shearing shed, where I knew he was working. I found my husband of 45 years lying across a ladder on the floor, ‘out cold’. As luck would have it, my mobile phone worked. I called 000 and our property neighbour for help.

As the day progressed, Dick started his fight for his life. Difficult conversations were had with myself and my two children at our nearest hospital. There was limited ability to complete diagnostic testing (a CT scan) and no ability to transfer Dick to a better-equipped hospital in Brisbane as bad weather had grounded the Rural Flying Doctor Service plane. In the absence of any further testing, it was assumed that Dick had likely fallen from the ladder after suffering a stroke. He was deteriorating to the point of palliation.

The following day, after some signs of neurological improvement and clearer weather, the RFDS transported Dick to The PA Hospital in Brisbane for further treatment. After more tests, doctors determined Dick had not suffered a stroke. He had sustained a Traumatic Brain Injury, bruising and broken bones after falling from the ladder. It was at this point his journey to recovery began – nine weeks of intensive inpatient rehabilitation including learning to walk and speak again and come to terms with his new normal. Looking back, coming to terms with his new normal was the greatest challenge of all.

We relocated to Mackay when Dick was discharged from hospital to be near our daughter and to access the community-based rehabilitation services required for Dick’s ongoing care – at least four days in centre rehab (with allied health practitioners including physio, speech and occupation therapy) at Mackay Base Hospital for seven months.

After completing rehab, we found ourselves struggling significantly with our new normal and Dick lapsed into severe depression. We accessed a variety of therapies and interventions to try to help Dick with his depression. After exhausting them all, I happened to pick up a copy of Ocean Road Magazine in a waiting room and read an article on Brain Care titled: Training Brains and Changing Lives.

I quickly learned that this revolutionary EEG bio-feedback treatment offered a drug-free therapy to assist people who had suffered acute brain injuries, anxiety and depression. And it was available on the Gold Coast. I spoke with Dick and we agreed it was worth a try.

After an initial consultation with Brain Care via telehealth, Dick was accepted as a patient. In March 2022, we temporarily relocated to the Gold Coast to start intensive treatment with Brain Care. The first step was a comprehensive brain function profile assessment, including quantitative electroencephalography with event-related potentials and a thorough cognitive, social and emotional assessment.

Based on the findings, specialised protocols were determined for therapy including Biofeedback, heart-rate variability training and photobiomodulation. To support Dick through it all, he also attended psychology sessions which included eye movement desensitisation and reprocessing. Dick’s therapy focused on regulating and correcting the physical, emotional and functional damage his injury had caused.

Initially, our sessions showed minimal improvement but as time went on, Dick’s mood lifted and his sense of self grew. Dick now actively engages in conversations, makes eye contact and often even initiates conversation. He is empowered and comfortable making decisions on a daily basis. These are massive improvements from the depressive state Dick found himself in and the isolation he felt. Dick applies the strategies he learnt from the clinicians at Brain Care every day. We can’t speak more highly of the clinicians at Brain Care. Their caring and compassionate ‘never give up’ attitude is something we are both very thankful for.

Dick’s journey is ongoing and Brain Care has played a huge part in addressing some of the major challenges he has encountered following his Traumatic Brain Injury.

Brain Care is a Tweed/Gold Coast-based NDIS-registered provider of neuromodulation services to optimise brain functioning. Visit to learn more.