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Rehab Enables Sports Coach To Return To Part-Time Work After Brain Injury

Tom Kerr


Our serious injury solicitors helped Tom after he suffered a traumatic brain injury in a road traffic collision. He has surpassed the expectations of his treating team through extensive rehabilitation and has returned to part-time work as a sports coach, which he says “has helped me become more confident as I have been able to independently teach a class.”

Tom shattered his skull and had to have part of it removed following the accident in January 2013, also badly fracturing his left leg. He was initially admitted to the Royal London Hospital and then spent four months at the Regional Neurological Rehabilitation Unit (RNRU) at Homerton Hospital. At Homerton he had:

  • Physiotherapy
  • Neuropsychology
  • Occupational therapy 
  • Speech and language therapy

With daily rehabilitation he returned home to his parents in August 2013 with an aim of living independently. Tom was also supported by Headway East London after he left the RNRU.

"Sport was Tom's life"

Tom was always keen to return to work and the life he shared with his partner, Louise, before the accident. He’d completed a university degree in sports coaching and his job as a coach for local primary schools included coaching football, cricket, multi-sports and gymnastics. Sport was Tom’s life, and he used to regularly play and watch cricket, rugby and football, as well as running and taking part in half marathons.

With the help of his treating team at the RNRU, Tom made a successful application to have further rehabilitation at the Queen Elizabeth Foundation Neuro Rehabilitation Centre (QEF) in Banstead. The ongoing rehabilitation and support meant that Tom was well enough to move into an independent living unit at the centre and could complete an off road driving assessment to help him return to driving. 

Vocational rehabilitation

The team at QEF focussed on Tom’s vocational rehabilitation and he carried out work experience at a local primary school to explore his re-entry into work. He returned home after four months and received further support from the Vocational Therapy team at the National Hospital for Neurology and Neurosurgery.

Tom’s employer helped him go back to his position as a sports coach in April 2014. To begin with, this was for one day a week, but it has gradually increased to four and a half days a week. Tom has also returned to driving and the next goal is to move back in with his partner. 

Interim payments

Irwin Mitchell has helped Tom and his family with a legal claim against the driver of the vehicle. The case hasn’t concluded yet, but Tom has secured interim payments that will enable a case manager and therapists to support his return to work.  

“Sport has always been a part of my life since childhood and it has helped me stay positive and motivated throughout my recovery since my accident. It has helped me become stronger physically and mentally and still be part of a team with my friends,” Tom said. 

“I am also lucky enough to work as a sports coach which has helped me become more confident as I have been able to independently teach a class and see the children progress over the school terms. I have learnt a lot about myself during my rehabilitation and recovery which I am very thankful for.”

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