Brain injury survivor launches face shield appeal for NHS

on Wednesday, 29 April 2020. Posted in Blog


   NHS staff held my life in their hands – I could not sit back and watch them fight this Covid-19 war without armour.   


Brain injury survivor, Demelza Fry is leading an urgent face shield appeal to protect frontline medical and care workers against the onslaught of Covid-19.

Demelza, 42, sustained a traumatic brain injury (TBI), among other multiple injuries, as a pedestrian in a horrific road accident in 2016 when she was hit by a car and it rolled over, crushing her.

The first responder arrived on the scene within a minute of a 999 call to find her trapped beneath the vehicle, her heart already in cardiac arrest.

It took three minutes for nearby residents to retrieve her from under the car and then, reportedly, a further five to eight minutes to get her heart started again.

But by then, Demelza’s brain had been starved of oxygen for up to 12 minutes, resulting in hypoxic brain damage.

Despite ongoing battles with cognitive symptoms and fatigue, however, Demelza is now coordinating a GoFundMe appeal to provide desperately needed face shields to frontline Covid-19 workers in East and West Sussex.


“I owe my life to the NHS; they held my life in their hands and never gave up, especially the first responder who got my heart started again and coordinated my rescue.”

“I owe my recovery to the expert medical and care staff who have supported me for over three and a half years since the accident.

“Without this support, and the techniques that have been provided to help me manage my symptoms, I would not be able to function as well as I am today.”

Demelza was at home, watching the news unfold about the current PPE (personal protective equipment) supply crisis when she decided to take action.

“I could not sit back and watch them fight this COVID-19 war without armour.”


So far in her appeal, with the support of other volunteers, Demelza has managed to:


  • Source the face shield materials
  • Set up a GoFundMe page
  • Rally self-assembly volunteers from across the two counties
  • Assemble and distribute (to date) 360 face shields to frontline medical and care staff
  • Maintain regular appeal updates


However, she’s now appealing for extra help in the following ways:


  • More donations
  • More people to share the GoFundMe link
  • More people to help assemble the face shields from home
  • More people to help coordinate the distribution
  • Help to find a company that can sanitise the face shields in Sussex


   A big thanks to everyone who has contributed so far. It has potentially saved the lives of many   



“I would love to be able to help protect so many more which is why I’m asking for your help.”


You can help here:

To donate or offer practical support, please contact Demelza via the appeal site here:  Go fund me - Demelza's mission

Krysalis has been providing neurological occupational therapy to Demelza to support her brain injury recovery since January 2019.

Downloadable Covid-19 resources for brain injury survivors and their families during the pandemic are available here: Krysalis Covid-19 resources


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