Disability History Month - One Two-Minute Phone Call

2021-11-23 -
Array, ASLEF
Jerry Brown is looking at the camera with a neutral expression

To mark Disability History Month, ASLEF members are sharing their stories.

Jerry Brown explains how two minutes changed his life.


My life is good, I have a job for life as a train driver. Then in one 2-minute phone call my world comes crashing down!

I was diagnosed with a brain tumour. 

Life gone, career gone and my life in tatters. Everybody thinks 'it will not happen to me' but it did to me! I had the feeling of worthlessness and 'why me? what have I done wrong?'

Luckily the operation was a success but a suffered a bit of collateral damage. I have lost my hearing in my left ear and not all the tumour was removed.

The feeling I felt that I am now disabled and unemployed is indescribable. Trying to come to terms with it is  a long and hard road.

Luckily the support of my work colleagues and advancement in modern technology meant there was some light at the end of the tunnel. Comrades treated me exactly the same and a thanks to a thing called a CROS system I could get back to work.  I had never heard of a CROS system but to my surprise it worked and I have my career back.

I am still coming to terms with being classed as disabled at least I can carry on with getting back to my job, some focus and one less worry.

So no matter what you are going through do not be scared to ask for help. Yes there are dark days but by reaching out the support is there. Please do not hesitate in reaching out, speak to someone, anyone if not your union disability representatives.


UK Disability History Month takes place from 18 November - 18 December.