A BORDERS grandmother who suffered a devastating brain injury during a car crash is urging other sufferers to get help.

Katrina Cameron was a fun-loving support worker before the accident in September, 2016.

Although her physical injuries quickly healed in the weeks after the collision, she was left with speech problems, short-term memory loss, persistent headaches and an over-riding sense of vulnerability.

It took Katrina several months of fighting with her local GP for a referral onto a neurologist.

And he immediately put her in touch with a support network which has turned her life around once more.

The 62-year-old from Eyemouth is sharing her story ahead of Brain Injury Awareness Week, which runs from Monday, May 20.

Katrina told us: "People thought there was nothing wrong with me because you can't see a brain injury.

"I was having to tell people to talk slowly as I couldn't follow what they were saying, I was forgetting things, had terrible sore heads and I just couldn't face going outside.

"I lost a lot of friends after the accident and I just locked myself away.

"The doctor was telling me it was symptoms of whiplash and to take pain killers - we had to fight to get to see a neurologist.

"It was the neurologist who gave me the number for Momentum - if it hadn't been for Momentum and Katy (Harkin) I wouldn't be where I am today.

"I can go outside now and my speech is improving."

Galashiels-based Momentum helps over 100 acquired-brain-injury sufferers, like Katrina, and their families from across the Scottish Borders.

Since 2002 professionals like Katy Harkin have been developing programmes to re-integrate their service users back into the community.

Katy told us: "Momentum offers one-one rehabilitation which includes cognitive strategies and emotional support.

"We also offer a range of support groups across the Borders so service users can meet others socially and get much needed peer support.

"Brain injury is known as the invisible disability as people can look well to others but be struggling with cognitive, social, emotional and behavioural problems to varying degrees.

"Adjusting to their previous life can be very difficult and/or impossible for some and many people are unable to work.

"People with a brain injury can feel very lost and vulnerable and there is a lack of awareness to this life changing condition."

As well as help from Momentum, Katrina has also been assisted by similar support charity, Headway.

And she's also been supported by peer sufferer, Rogan Grant.

Katrina added: "I was medically discharged from my job as a support worker because of my brain injury, which was difficult for me.

"But I received all the help I needed from Momentum to sort out my finances.

"I can't cook or do anything like that these days, but I have nine grandchildren with another on the way and I am looking forward.

"If anyone has suffered a brain injury there is a lot of help out there."

As part of Brain Injury Awareness Week, Heads Together is hosting a Open Mic music night at their offices in Hawick for all Momentum service users and their friends on the Monday (May 20).

On the Thursday (May 23), there is a fundraising cake sale taking place at Borders General Hospital, where information on all of Momentum's projects and services will be available.

And on the Friday (May 24) Momentum's service users will have the chance to learn a new language in Eyemouth with Lingo Flamingo.

A spokeswoman for Lingo Flamingo explained: "We are the world’s first organisation to create language lessons specifically for older adults and those living brain injuries, dementia and cognitive decline.

"Our fun, immersive classes seek to do language learning differently and make bilingualism accessible to all in order to harness the incredible, brain-boosting benefits of learning a language.

"We seek to change perceptions of language learning and want to see learning a language viewed as part of a healthy, balanced and connected life.

"No matter who or where our classes are delivered we want students to have an experience that is good for the brain and good for the banter."