MX23RW : Saturday, July 31 02:28:59| >> :600:75980152:75980152:

Danson 'lost memory and ability to read' after suffering head injury on holiday

The Olympic gold medallist also felt like she had lost her identity but says she is now on the road to recovery.

Great Britain hockey captain Alex Danson has revealed she lost her memory and "the ability to read" after suffering a head injury last year.

The 33-year-old hit her head on a concrete chair while on holiday six months ago, suffering a mild brain injury, and has not played since. She missed the Champions Trophy in November and was left out of the GB squad for the inaugural FIH Pro League.

Danson believes she is finally getting her life back on track and in a post on Twitter on Monday she provided an insight of the frightening effects of the fall and an update on her recovery.

She said: "I knew straight away something wasn't right, but as a typical athlete, I waved it away and tried to pretend I was OK. Six weeks later I was rushed into hospital with a suspected bleed, being violently sick and having seizures.

England Women v Netherlands Women – Investec International – Lee Valley Hockey Centre
Alex Danson has been unable to play hockey since the fall six months ago (Nigel French/PA)

"Six months on and it's been the hardest experience I have ever been though.

"When I came out of hospital a walk to the bathroom was near impossible and the very most I could do. I was in bed for 24 hours a day for weeks on end. I couldn't tolerate light, sound or people talking to me. My memory, concentration and ability to read or look at screens was zero.

"I'm getting there. I can now walk for nearly 30 minutes, I can hold a conversation and remember how to boil an egg! (Sadly it's not improved my cooking!) My headaches are still bad and I feel dizzy most days, but one thing I can guarantee is I WILL get there.

"One of the hardest parts in all of this, aside from the physical trauma, has been losing my identity. Going from leading my country, aspiring to qualify for the Tokyo Olympics to just trying to get through a day.

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It's been quite a journey..... . . 6 months ago whilst on holiday I hit the back of my head. I knew straight away something wasn't right, but as a typical athlete, I waved it away and tried to pretend I was ok. . . 6 weeks later I was rushed into hospital with a suspected bleed, being violently sick and having seizures. . . 6 months on and it's been the hardest experience I have ever been though. When I came out of hospital a walk to the bathroom was near impossible and the very most I could do. I was in bed for 24 hours a day for weeks on end. I couldn't tolerate light, sound or people talking to me. My memory, concentration and ability to read or look at screens was zero. . . I'm getting there, I can now walk for nearly 30 minutes, I can hold a conversation and remember how to boil an egg! (Sadly it's not improved my cooking!) My headaches are still bad and I feel dizzy most days, but one thing I can guarantee is I WILL get there. . . One of the hardest part in all of this, aside from the physical trauma, has been losing my identity. Going from leading my country, aspiring to qualify for the Tokyo Olympics to just trying to get through a day. . . Head injuries are serious, debilitating and lonely. To everyone that has been in touch, my family and to my amazing boy, you have been my lifeline ❤️ . . When I have days when I feel well enough I will document some of my recovery...I will share what I have learnt as I also have so much to be thankful for . . . I've not been well enough up to now and I've not been sure whether it's something I wanted to do. Goodness, people go through far worse than this and have to be much stronger that I. But, I've always gained most joy in life by trying to serve others, and just maybe this will help one other person support someone going through the same ordeal. I think in doing this, it will help me. . . For all this has taken from me in the short term, I am determined I will take more from IT in the long term. . . #mildtraumaticbraininjury #concussion #recovery #iWILLbeatthis @headway_uk

A post shared by ALEX DANSON MBE (@alexdanson15) on

"Head injuries are serious, debilitating and lonely. To everyone that has been in touch, my family and to my amazing boy, you have been my lifeline."

Danson plans to give further updates about her journey and recovery in the hope that her story might help others who are suffering the same trauma.

She continued: "When I have days when I feel well enough, I will document some of my recovery, I will share what I have learnt as I also have so much to be thankful for.

England Women v Netherlands Women – Investec International – Lee Valley Hockey Centre
Alex Danson still remains some way off a return to action (Nigel French/PA)

"I've not been well enough up to now and I've not been sure whether it's something I wanted to do. Goodness, people go through far worse than this and have to be much stronger than I. But, I've always gained most joy in life by trying to serve others, and just maybe this will help one other person support someone going through the same ordeal. I think in doing this, it will help me.

"For all this has taken from me in the short term, I am determined I will take more from it in the long term."

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Olympic medal table header
CountryGold medalSilver MedalBronze MedalT
ChinaChina1891138
JapanJapan174627
United StatesUnited States16171144
Olympics flagOlympic Athletes from Russia10141034
AustraliaAustralia1031225
Great BritainGreat Britain79925
Today's Olympic highlights header

Saturday's key events


TRIATHLON
· After silvers in both the men's and women's events, Team GB will be fancied to get on the podium again in the mixed relay (11.30pm-1am)

SWIMMING
· Touted as Michael Phelps's successor, Caeleb Dressel already has two gold medals from these Games and he will be going for a third in the men's 50m butterfly final (2.30am)
· It is Katie Ledecky vs. Ariarne Titmus III in the women's 800m freestyle final, with Ledecky entering as firm favourite (2.46am)
· Great Britain will be heavily fancied to add another gold medal to their swimming haul, having produced by far the fastest qualifying time for the mixed 4x100m medley relay final (3.43am)

ATHLETICS
· Dina Asher-Smith is one of three British women in the 100m semi-finals (3.01am-3.20am), and will hope to challenge for a medal in what is likely to be a star-studded final (1.50pm)
· The inaugural Olympic 4x400m mixed relay event concludes with Great Britain one of the eight finalists going for gold (1.35pm)

RUGBY SEVENS
· Team GB's dreams of an unlikely gold are still alive in the women's event as they face France in their semi-final (3.30am). The winners will face either New Zealand or Fiji in the gold medal match later in the day (10am)

SAILING
· Gold medals are up for grabs in the windsurfer - RS:X finals. Emma Wilson participates for Team GB in the women's final (6.33am), while Tom Squires is in action in the men's (7.33am)

TENNIS
· Following his shock semi-final defeat, ending his hopes of a Golden Slam in 2021, Novak Djokovic battles for bronze against Pablo Carreno Busta (7am)
· The women's singles event reaches its conclusion with the gold medal match between Belinda Bencic and Marketa Vondrousova

> Today's schedule in full
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