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Focus on Brain Injury

Happy Times Ahead

Tom Kerr felt he had the whole world at his feet when he was struck by a car and left for dead. The 27-year-old had graduated from university with a degree in sports coaching; he was living with Louise, the love of his life, and was on the cusp of a dream career coaching primary school children in sport when he suffered a road traffic collision.

Tom was so badly injured, doctors believed that even if he survived, he would face years of rehabilitation and therapy before he would speak, walk or live independently. But three years on from the hit-and-run which almost ended his life, Tom has surpassed the expectations of brain injury specialists to return to sports coaching, buy his first home and get engaged to Louise, who remained steadfast throughout his recovery.

Tom has also become a supporter of Irwin Mitchell’s Don’t Quit Do It campaign, which aims to show how sport can help with rehabilitation from serious injuries. Irwin Mitchell is assisting Tom and his family with a legal case against the driver of the vehicle, who was convicted for failing to stop at the scene of the accident.

Sarah Griggs, specialist brain injury lawyer at Irwin Mitchell and trustee of Headway East London, representing Tom said: “We were able to help Tom by appointing a case manager to assess his needs so we could secure funding for treatment and specialist rehabilitation. This has enabled Tom to continue the momentum of his recovery. Tom is an inspiration to so many people suffering with severe brain injury and a testament to how love and support – and a love of sport – can lead to rehabilitation.”

Desperate to get back to his former life, and with the help of the team at the Regional Neurological Rehabilitation Unit (RNRU) , Tom successfully applied for further rehabilitation at the Queen Elizabeth Foundation Neuro Rehabilitation Centre in Banstead, where intensive and ongoing rehabilitation and support meant that Tom was strong enough to move into an independent living unit at the centre and could have an off-road driving assessment to get him back on the road.

Tom comments: “I think my passion for sport helped me get through it in my darkest moments. My focus was always getting back to sport, getting back to coaching and, of course, getting back to Louise.”

 Read more of Tom's story

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