UK student calls for greater fatigue awareness after a night out left her with a brain injury

The 18-year-old is suffering with the effects of a brain injury after a banged head last year.
The 18-year-old is suffering with the effects of a brain injury after a banged head last year. Photo credit: Left: YouTube/Screenshot; Right: Facebook/Lottie Butler.

An English teenager has spoken out about how a knock to the head during a sober night out left her with a severe brain injury.

Lottie Butler, an 18-year-old from Nottinghamshire, claims her life has turned upside down following the accident last year. 

During a sober night out, Butler banged her head on a toilet door. She now struggles with memory loss, extreme fatigue and difficulty concentrating because of a brain injury.

The high-school student says she remembers "banging my head on the door as I left the cubicle.

"The next thing I know, I was surrounded by the student union's emergency medical staff," she told the Daily Mail.

"It was really frustrating because everyone just assumed I'd had too much to drink, and that's why I fell and hit my head, when in reality I was sober."

Butler was diagnosed with a fractured skull and post-concussion syndrome as a result of the knock.

The student says her "education has suffered so much" after the bang to the head left her with the effects of extreme fatigue.

School leaves her "exhausted", and Butler is concerned the ongoing injury will prevent her from making the most of university.

"I'm worried my fatigue will stop me from enjoying the typical university experience… I want to be able to do the same things other people my age do."

Butler shared her story as part of a campaign by Headway, a UK brain injury association. Brain Drain: Wake up to fatigue! advocates for a greater understanding of fatigue as an effect of brain injury. The movement took place during Action for Brain Injury Week at the end of May.

The Daily Mail reports that a 2019 survey released as part of Headway's campaign shows chronic or pathological fatigue is heavily misunderstood, resulting in brain injury survivors feeling isolated, discriminated against and unfairly treated.

Leaders of the campaign said it's important to acknowledge that many brain injury effects can be hidden.

"It's really frustrating," Butler said. "Just because I look well physically, it doesn't mean I'm not struggling."