What a brilliant swimming session it was today! Pádraig was really at his best. Kicking his legs and beginning to paddle with his arms. But, best of all, he stood up, supporting his body almost exclusively himself and holding his head up high with just a tiny little bit of support by myself. And himself? – He had a big big smile on his face really enjoying the whole experience. It was really good.

This morning, the second Brain Week event organised by the Neurological Alliance Ireland (NAI) and the Irish Brain Council (IBC) took place in Trinity College Dublin with a focus on: “Brain Research in Ireland: Investing in all our futures”. There were three sessions covered by ‘the usual suspects’, including Prof Orla Hardiman (Professor of Neurology, Trinity College Dublin). This was an event focusing on research. The funny thing was that I had echoes of my ‘day job’ as a researcher and project leader / participant in my ear the whole morning: synergy; user involvement; industrial relevance; big data; und so weiter und so fort… et cetera pp.

There was one funny video about taking prescription drugs that was really entertaining and lightened up the morning:

The talks were, as research talks are, far removed from my reality. For example: “Why Ireland needs to reflect the model of a National Institute for Health Research”, or: “Understanding the brain in health and disease: the crucial role of basic neuroscience”, or “Health Information Policy to Support Research and Innovation”.

Well done, both the NAI and the Brain Council for having organised a half-day conference and for completely ‘selling’ it out – all (free) tickets for the event were gone long before it eventually took place this morning.

But, to be honest, I need to see changes now. And I need to see something concrete to happen. The researchers talking this morning, to me, were living on a different planet and moving in a different time capsule.

What about doing the obvious – making what we have all known and have been aware of for a long time real: take those sABI survivors confined to nursing homes, those on “nutrition, medication, and hydration”, and get them a life worth living, in the midst of their families and friends, with the support they deserve, right now!