‘I want to shine a light’: Brain-injured B.C. man advocating to change lives

Duncan’s Kyle Mockford is only now starting to somehow get his life back after a decade of severe brain damage.

Mockford, 33, lived a normal and productive life until an attack outside a Victorian nightclub in December 2012 changed everything in his world.

Before the attack, he was healthy, happy, had many friends and was deeply involved in the community.

As a high school student, Mockford was a regular at events held by the Cowichan Intercultural Society, and after graduation he raised funds to travel to Africa and made several long-distance trips, helping to establish orphanages and assisting people on the continent with anything he could. The way.

But it was so close to home that his life would change forever. In 2012, he was at a nightclub with some friends when he was brutally attacked from behind shortly after they left.

Mockford was shot 20 times in the head before passing out.

The next thing he knew he was in the hospital, with a badly swollen and bruised face, intermittently unconscious, with a splitting headache and vomiting for days on end.

Mockford said his doctors didn’t fully understand the brain injury and its effects at the time and prescribed medication for a period that was unsuccessful in addressing his health, but then a nurse who came into contact with him referred him to Referral to a neurologist and arranged for him to do a CT scan.

After testing, Mockford found that the attack had left him with a subdural hematoma on his brain. This is when blood forms on the surface of the brain and presses against it, a potentially life-threatening condition.

Before that, he said, he had never been connected to a proper medical support system and his life began to spiral out of control due to the lack of support.

“After the attack (the assailant received only a slap on the wrist), I spent the next three months sleeping and recovering,” he said.

“I’d be resting in bed, very sensitive to light, unable to watch TV or do anything. My life started falling apart. I started having severe headaches, balance problems, fatigue, poor coordination, and my reasoning, attention Decreased power and memory.”

Mockford said he also began experiencing severe depression, anxiety, compulsive aggressive behavior and post-traumatic stress disorder, all of which gradually worsened after the attack.

He said he had to drop out of university and lost his job, and his illness has severely affected his relationships with family and friends.

“I started isolating myself, angry at what was going on in my head, not understanding that I was dealing with a serious brain injury,” he said.

“My current doctor has been very supportive and has since pointed out that I’m at higher risk for dementia, multiple sclerosis, ALS and stroke because of my injuries.”

Due to his failing health, Mockford said he had trouble keeping his job and had worked random jobs to pay the bills.

He said less is known about how to help those affected by brain injuries when an attack occurred than there is now, and he sees some hope in Bill C-277, a private members bill reintroduced in Ottawa last June by Cowichan- Written by Alistair MacGregor MP for Malahat-Langford.

If passed, Bill C-277 will develop a national strategy to support and improve the prevention and treatment of brain injuries in Canada.

“Canadians with symptoms of traumatic brain injury deserve equal access to the best care and treatment, and Bill C-277 aims to do just that,” MacGregor said in June.

Mockford said he also found a beacon of hope and support at the Cowichan Brain Injury Association, whose members have been supportive and comforting as he struggles to help him cope with his condition.

He said that in the year and a half since he first approached the association, its executive director, Chris Rafuse, did everything in his power to guide him to the resources he needed, while his adviser and Life coach Emma Knock has been a mentor and advocate and connected him with social workers to attend workshops with him and help him in any way she could.

Mockford said he has lived with his parents on and off for the past five years, but now lives in a one-bedroom apartment in downtown Duncan.

“I started getting everything sorted out, and I’m so happy to finally have a doctor follow me through my treatment,” he said.

“I expected that I would never be able to fully return to normal, but I finally did the right thing and returned to as normal as possible after going through the cracks for so long. I wanted to shed light on the severity of brain injuries and how they can and will A person’s life has long-term consequences and repercussions.”

To help himself recover and help others who have suffered brain injuries, Mockford has a website and blog at www.dailytranscend.comdealing with the aftermath of his brain injury and what others can do to help themselves heal.

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