Lucky To Be Alive Pedestrian Praises Rehabilitation Services For Helping Her Regain Independence

Woman Uses Experience To Help Others With Brain Injuries

11.06.2014

A young woman who suffered life changing injuries after a hit-and-run driver ploughed into her at speed knocking her 28 metres through the air has spoken of the ‘invaluable’ rehabilitation services that have helped her get her life back on track.

Tori Brewer, from Bagshot in Surrey, was walking to the pub with her mum and step-dad to celebrate the Royal Wedding in April 2011 when she was hit by a vehicle driven by painter and decorator, Matthew Mooney, who fled the scene at Puttenham Heath Road, but was arrested by police a short time later.

The 23-year-old was airlifted to King’s College Hospital where she spent 10 days sedated in the critical surgery unit and a total of three months being treated for fractures to her skull, ribs, pelvis and spine. She was required to wear a metal fixator (brace) around her pelvis to encourage her fractures to heal and needed intensive physiotherapy, neuropsychology and occupational therapies as a result of the head injuries she suffered.

But the former hairdresser has surpassed expectations with her recovery - Tori moved into her own home for the first time in March 2013 where she lives independently and has now taken up a new role caring for other people who have suffered neurological injury.

Tori credits the ‘amazing’ rehabilitation services she has had access to, through interim payments secured by her legal team at Irwin Mitchell from Mr Mooney’s insurers, for getting her to where she is today and she is now determined to help others achieve the same goals.

Tori said: “The injuries I suffered nearly three years ago continue to impact my life now and my recovery so far has by no means been easy.

“But I have been determined not to let my injuries control my life as I know that I am lucky to be alive. This made me keen to use my experiences to help others which is why I work part time as a carer to help other people who have been through a similar ordeal.

“I have been fortunate that my legal team at Irwin Mitchell have ensured I have had access to amazing rehabilitation facilities such as physiotherapy to help with my physical injuries as well as neuropsychology and occupational therapies to help me overcome the head injury and emotional trauma I suffered.

“Without this, I wouldn’t have been able to move into my own home and feel confident that I can live independently, which is so vital in providing a good quality of life and in helping me feel confident about my future.

“I want to help others so that they feel they have support and someone to talk to who understands what they are going through.”

Tori added: “Although I realise I have made a very good recovery, fatigue continues to play a large role in my life. It takes a huge effort on my part to work part-time and after just a few hours work a day, I barely have any energy left.

“Because of the fatigue, I find it very difficult to keep up with my friends.  If I have an evening out, it takes me days to recover. These limits have affected my friendships and my ability to socialise. When you have a brain injury, it is a hidden disability.  People think that I look fine and don’t realise the very real impact it has on my daily life.

“Throughout all this my mother has been fantastic.  I ring her every day, for advice, reassurance and practical support.  It is not what you would do as a normal 23 year old but my mother has always been there for me, steering me in the right direction and I would like to thank her for her invaluable support.”

Despite leaving the scene of the incident, Mr Mooney, of Court Road, Aldershot, was quickly caught after his boss got stuck in the traffic jam from the accident scene and interrogated him when he saw the extensive damage to his car as he returned it. His boss then drove him back to the scene of the incident where he was immediately arrested by police, who later estimated he was travelling at 56mph in a 40mph zone.

He was sentenced to seven months imprisonment and disqualified from driving for two years at Guildford Crown Court on 9 March 2012 after pleading guilty to dangerous driving, failing to stop and failing to report an accident. Mooney served one month of his sentence before being released.

Tracey Storey, is a Partner at Irwin Mitchell who specialises in helping people recover from serious injury. 

Expert Opinion
Tori has made a fantastic recovery from the horrific injuries she suffered but the fact remains that her life will never be the same again because of what happened that day.

“Interim payments from the driver’s insurers meant we could secure Tori access to the best possible rehabilitation to help her recovery and after an admission of liability in August 2012, we are now finalising the case to secure a settlement for Tori that will see all her future rehabilitation needs met, as well as cover her loss of earnings as fatigue caused by her head injury means she is unable to work full-time.

“Tori’s determination to rebuild her life is incredible and she has remained strong when others would have given up. We wish her every success in her role as a carer for people with head injuries and we have no doubt she will inspire others with her positive outlook.”
Tracey Storey, Partner

 

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