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Back on board at Manchester’s Chill Factore

  • 30.06.2021
  • JessicaMG
  • Personal-injury
  • Brain Injury Personal Injury serious injury road traffic accident Headway head injury road traffic collision snowboarding Gary Herbert

When Will’s case settled during lockdown, there was one part of our client's rehabilitation journey that was left unfulfilled.

“From our very first meeting Will had targeted a return to snowboarding,” explains Gary Herbert, personal injury solicitor here at Potter Rees Dolan.

Problems at work

Will had been injured as a passenger in a vehicle which crashed when struck by a vehicle travelling on the wrong side of the road, sustaining a brain injury. At first the doctors had concentrated on his physical injuries and advised him that the headaches and tiredness he was experiencing would resolve. However, he began noticing that he was having unexpected problems at work.

“Before my injury I had no problems at all with working but suddenly I found that I was forgetting important parts of my work and finding it hard to fully concentrate on what I was doing. I also had a constant headache and found that I got tired easily so that I was exhausted by the time I got to the weekend.”

Will was provided with specialist rehabilitation from a Case Manager, Speech and Language Therapist and a Physiotherapist.

“Will met every challenge head on and worked hard with his therapists to improve his fatigue. He was supported to adapt his workplace and ways of working to help him overcome some of the problems he was experiencing,” detailed Gary.

Permenant hangover

Will says that some of the problems have not gone away, but he has now learned to live with them. He explains:

“It is like having a permanent hangover - but I am determined to get on with my life. I have a supportive family; an understanding employer and I am learning how to understand the steps I need to take to overcome the additional challenges my brain injury can bring.”

w2.jpgWill had been snowboarding with his family when he was younger but had to watch as friends of his went off to the mountains whilst he worked on his rehabilitation. After the case settled and lockdown restrictions started to lift, Gary got in touch with the team at DSUK (Disability Snowsport UK). He said:

“Through my work with Headway I had come across DSUK, and I spoke to them about the challenges that Will would face. Whilst he would physically be able to do what was asked of him, he might need some extra prompting to keep his concentration and focus.

"They arranged a one-to-one lesson at Chill Factore - an indoor snow centre in Manchester - during a quiet period with a specialist instructor so that Will was able to focus on what he was doing and take on board some really detailed feedback on his technique.”

Gary, a keen snowboarder himself, was allowed along to film the occasion.

“It was not surprising to see Will meet the challenge with his usual positive attitude, and as the session went on it was harder and harder to keep up with him to get the footage!”

Like riding a bike

Will found his return to the snow as like riding a bike and is now planning a trip to the mountains next year with his family and his partner. He has also recently volunteered to act as a Trustee for his local Headway Group and hopes to help share his experiences to support others who find themselves at the start of their rehabilitation journeys. 

snowboarding