Ryley's Story

Ryley is 17 and lives near Peterborough. In May 2016, Ryley suddenly collapsed at home. He had a brain haemorrhage caused by an arterial venous malformation (AVM) - a symptomless condition he’d had since birth.

AMV is a tangle of blood vessels in the brain which bypasses normal brain tissue and directly diverts blood from the arteries to the veins. It’s thought to occur in less than one percent of the population. Ryley was left with a severe brain injury, unable to walk or talk or feed himself.

Just six months after his acquired brain injury, Ryley moved to The Children’s Trust for specialist brain injury rehabilitation. With bravery and determination, Ryley focused on relearning many of the skills he’d lost.

In particular, music helped Ryley through his rehabilitation. His Speech and Language therapist at The Children’s Trust, Emma, comments: “When Ryley was first admitted to The Children’s Trust it was very challenging for him to coordinate and plan the oral movements needed to produce speech sounds.

“Ryley was particularly motived by humour and within his joint music and speech and language therapy sessions his therapists used music and rhythm to create many silly songs and raps. These were then used within sessions to improve the accuracy and timing of Ryley’s speech. Ryley made huge gains during his rehabilitation and when he left he was able to produce a wide range of words and phrases which were intelligible to his friends and family.”

Ryley’s Mum, Mel adds: “In the last 6 months, Ryley has stopped using his Augmentative and Alternative Communication device to speak and finally he can use his voice. It was fascinating to watch Ryley develop breath control and volume of sounds to a rhythm during his sessions. He continues to use the techniques he learnt in music therapy to ensure his voice is clear and understood. Those early music therapy sessions played a huge part in Ryley's speech development and I'm so pleased that we gave it a go."

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