Diss woman says working in a pub helped her recover from a brain injury
A woman from Diss has spoken out about rebuilding her life by working in a pub after suffering a life-changing brain injury.
Emily Millican, 26, said she could not even make a cup of tea after being in a road accident eight years ago.
The injuries left Emily with difficulties with her speech and memory, as well as anxiety.
“Speech and language were difficult,” said Emily.
“I was an A-level student studying at Otley College, so I had swallowed a dictionary. But, after the accident, I struggled with even basic words.
“I couldn’t deal with people. I just couldn’t cope, I got into a minor breathing fit.
“If you are afraid of spiders, it was the same feeling I had for being around people.”
In 2016, Emily decided to make a change and got a job at the Cock Inn, in Denmark Street, Diss.
“People say that if you’re scared of spiders, you should sit in a room with a tarantula,” explained Emily.
“So, I applied the same logic and decided to overcome my anxiety of people by working in a pub. It’s a bit peculiar, but it worked.”
Emily said working in the pub has given her the chance to regain her confidence.
She has also passed her driving test and completed her studies.
“My memory is better now, but not brilliant. I struggle to remember basic things, like what I had for breakfast, but I think I’m doing ok for someone who has had a head injury.”
Emily also volunteers one day a week for Headway, a charity working to improve life of people who have suffered brain injuries.
The charity has a network of 125 groups and branches across the UK and provides support, services and information to survivors, their families and carers.
Emily volunteers at Headway’s Bury St Edmunds branch.
“I’ve become the person who I think I was supposed to become,” she said.
“If I hadn’t have had the head injury, I wouldn’t have worked at Headway. It’s a charity that gives you a really good insight and people need to remember they’re not the worst off, you’re still alive and you’ve really got to grab that.”
She has shared her story to raising awareness of the stories behind brain injuries as part of Action For Brain Injury Week, which ends on Sunday.