NZ reality TV star Bel Clarke shares her story after suffering traumatic brain injury

goss 11/09/2020

Married at First Sight NZ and The Bachelor NZ star Bel Clarke has had a more difficult 2020 than most of us after a freak accident in July resulted in an 'excruciating' brain injury.

The reality TV star was out for a run with her dog Millie when she tripped and hit her head hard. She woke up on the ground and says all she remembers is a shooting pain in her head and not knowing where she was.

Unaware of how severe the injury was, she carried on with her evening, driving to the airport to pick up her mum.

"It wasn't until I was driving that it all started going downhill," she told The Project on Thursday. 

"I realised I was falling asleep driving, passing out, because I kept sort of coming to and I was swerving off the road."

After spending some time in hospital, she was discharged with whiplash and concussion and told to rest.

But a few days later she began suffering "excruciating" pain and her mum took her back to the hospital where she was then diagnosed with trauma to the head.

Her resulting brain injury means she now has trouble walking and speaking, and also suffers memory loss and migraines.

The 28-year-old is now taking it day-by-day, after her injury initally took her to a "dark space".

"It was when my brother came to me, Dylan, and he said, 'I miss the old you', and then I got sad and I thought 'me too'. I miss me. I can still be me. I just need to adjust to this'."

"There are days when it is very hard and dark and horrible, like for a lot of people, and that's okay and you just try again the next day."

Read more at Newshub.