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Maxine Hayden

Mother of Matthew Hayden and co-founder, chair and trustee of After Matters.

My son Matthew and his friend Josh became good friends through their love of rugby, where they met, trained and played together at Littleborough Rugby Union Club (LRUFC). They were both attacked in 2018 and Matthew sustained a traumatic brain injury. Matthew was just 17 years old when his life was saved by the wonderful neurosurgery team at the Salford Royal NHS Foundation Trust, and for that, I will be eternally grateful.

While Matthew was in hospital I met another mum Louise who was going through the same ordeal with her son Aidan, who had also sustained a traumatic brain injury. We kept in touch and supported each other through the dark days, of which there were many. Family life had been incredibly difficult after Matthew sustained his brain injury, so much so, that I eventually decided to leave my career of 35 years. I was a group procurement director for a global precision engineering company. I loved my job, the work I did and the people I worked with but I was deeply affected by what had happened to my son Matthew and the nature in which he sustained his brain injury and I recognised that I needed to take some much needed time out.

I am married to my biggest supporter Andy and we also have a wonderful daughter Ava who now too loves and plays rugby! I am also step-mum to Chris and grandma to three gorgeous little boys.

I feel I have achieved and learned a lot both in life and work, enabling me to use my transferrable professional skills and life experience for the After Matters group, and also being a mum of a brain injury survivor, I feel I can help other survivors and families living life after a brain injury.