Miss Surrey 2024 contestant joins pagent after concussion left her feeling like her brain had been 'rewired'

Chloe poses in a teal dress and a red sash
Chloe is a finalist for Miss Surrey 2024 -Credit:Chloe Ching / Miss GB

After sustaining a serious head injury that made a Surrey woman feel like her brain had “unwired itself” Chloe Ching decided to join the Miss Great Britain pageant. After tripping over and hitting her head on a wall in August 2023, Chloe was left slurring her speech and was diagnosed with post-concussion syndrome.

Following the accident, Chloe now lives with intense dizziness spells, nausea, splitting migraines and fatigue. Shortly after the diagnosis, Chloe was invited to participate in the Miss GB pageant and jumped at the opportunity.

Chloe said: “I filled out the form while waiting during a hospital visit. Life is too short, and I had a modelling past so thought this would be really fun, and I could make some new friends.”

A diagnosis for post-concussion syndrome is made for those who suffer with symptoms for three months or longer. It can last for years, and for Chloe who has a bruise to her brain, it takes months to recover.


Chloe said: “Some people can experience emotional dysregulation, seizures and personality changes. I find certain things can trigger me, such as having a nightmare that freaks my body out and my symptoms all come back.

“It’s scary, my injury was close to the front of my head. I had to get my eyes check as I started to get floaters and was worried I had injured my eyes too.”

To aid healing, Chloe learned the best thing was time and patience. She said: “My brain had unwired itself in a certain respect. Rest, time and patience are what it takes because it won’t heal overnight.

“It will take time and lots of love, I found sound baths helpful. Having a brain injury is scary, because you may not learn about it, unless you experience it, which is why I want to use my platform to raise awareness.”

Using the new platform of Miss GB to raise awareness about head injuries, Chloe has launched Headstart Campaign. Just two months ago, Chloe’s aunt died of pancreatic cancer, so has become a Cancer Research Ambassador.

The daunting task of running to represent Surrey for Miss GB has been life-changing for Chloe, who was nervous about catwalks due to her post-concussion dizziness. Chloe said: “Dizziness affected my balance while walking and doing turns, so I have benefited from mentoring with the Miss GB program, called This is Me.

“I’ve also had tips for interview technique, which is a part of the pageant, as I want to take it one step further if I were to win and represent Surrey. I’m a newbie to pageants so I wanted to understand my environment, I’m really enjoying it.”

Before joining the fleet of 25 women in the running to represent Surrey, Chloe did not know what to expect. Chloe said: “There’s a misconception that pageants are like the movie, Miss Congeniality, but it’s not like that. It’s such a heartwarming environment.

“We’re all cheering each other on, when we practice our walks, you hear: ‘You’re so elegant’ and ‘I love your shoes!’ It’s really great supporting each other. We attend each other’s fundraising events too, like walks, marathons and even MMA-style fights with banners!”

The finals for the Surrey division will take place on Monday, July 15, at East Hampstead Park Hotel. During the final there will be interviews with contestants, a swimwear round, and then an evening gown round which will be open to the public, in the evening, Miss Surrey will be crowned.

Tips on dealing with head injuries by the NHS:

  • hold an ice pack (or a bag of frozen peas in a tea towel) to the area regularly for short periods in the first few days to bring down any swelling

  • rest and avoid stress – you or your child do not need to stay awake if you're tired

  • take painkillers such as paracetamol for headaches

  • make sure an adult stays with you or your child for at least the first 24 hours

Don'ts for head injuries:

  • do not go back to work or school until you're feeling better

  • do not drive until you feel you have fully recovered

  • do not play contact sports for at least 3 weeks – children should avoid rough play for a few days

  • do not take drugs or drink alcohol until you're feeling better

  • do not take sleeping pills while you're recovering unless a doctor advises you to

To keep up with Chloe's pageant journey, you can follow her Instagram blog here.

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