Former Chef And Lawyers Support Major Campaign
A Newcastle man who suffered a brain injury after being hit by a car in Tenerife has spoken out about his recovery as he backs a major campaign.
Malcolm McRae, had recently moved to the Santa Cruz area of the Spanish island when he was hit by a Volkswagen Polo while crossing a road in October 2018. He sustained a catalogue of injuries including a brain injury.
Following the accident, Malcolm instructed expert international serious injury lawyers at Irwin Mitchell to investigate what happened and help him access the specialist support and rehabilitation he requires to aid his recovery so he can live life as best he can.
As part of the recovery process, Malcolm spent a number of weeks as an inpatient at a specialist brain injury rehabilitation centre in the Garforth area of Leeds which is run by the Brain Injury Rehabilitation Trust.
Two years on from his life-changing injury, Malcolm, 39, has now joined with the legal experts at Irwin Mitchell in supporting Action for Brain Injury Week. This year’s campaign is focusing on how memory loss can affect people like Malcolm following a brain injury.
Expert Opinion“It’s been two years since Malcolm’s life was turned upside down after being knocked down by a car while in Tenerife.
As a result of the accident, he sustained a significant brain injury and now lives with memory loss and issues with his mental health, which undoubtedly has a significant impact on his day-to-day life.
Malcolm’s case is an important reminder of how people can continue to be affected by injury after the physical signs have gone. He’s keen to share his story as part of Action for Brain Injury Week to raise awareness of the challenges he is faced with.
He wants others in similar situations to know that there is help and support available.
Malcolm has made great progress through rehabilitation and we are working with our Client Liaison Managers to support him and his family as he moves forward with his recovery.”
Daniel Matchett - Associate Solicitor
Malcolm relocated to Tenerife in 2018 with his partner at the time. Within weeks of the move, he was struck by a Volkswagen Polo as he crossed a road in the Santa Cruz district on 14 October 2018.
He sustained a brain injury, along with a fracture and tear of his left knee and a fracture to his left shoulder.
Malcolm was treated by paramedics at the scene and taken as an emergency admission to a hospital in Tenerife. He underwent surgery and remained there for more than two months. He was repatriated to the UK on 21 December 2018, where he spent a further five months in hospital.
Malcolm was discharged to a specialist brain injury rehabilitation residential centre in Leeds on 22 May 2019, where he stayed until 4 September that same year.
Since the accident, Malcolm has reported feelings of confusion low mood, and an inability to regulate his behaviour and control the volume of his voice. He suffers with memory loss and anxiety, and will continue to need assistance with daily activities for the foreseeable future. Prior to moving to Tenerife, Malcolm worked as a chef at a restaurant in Halifax. As a result of his injuries, he can no longer work.
In the last two years, Malcolm has received rehabilitation sessions from a clinical psychologist, a physiotherapist and a neuropsychologist.
He said: “The past two years have been awful. I’m still struggling to accept what happened that day and how it has had such a lasting and devastating impact on me. It was meant to be an enjoyable time, and it turned into a total nightmare.
“I can’t work anymore and I’ve found it really difficult to comprehend that I no longer have the independence I used to. I need help with many everyday tasks, and probably will need some level of assistance for the rest of my life.
“One of the main effects of my brain injury is my memory loss, which is incredibly frustrating, and I suffer from really low mood a lot of the time.
“Thankfully, I have had such great support from family and friends, and Irwin Mitchell’s Client Liaison Managers who work alongside my legal team have been a great help as they got me in touch with agencies such as Community Acquired Brain Injury Support.
“Like me, many brain injured people find it hard to understand their injuries and what it means for them and their future, but I hope that by sharing my story it will help raise awareness of the support available.
“I’m sure there are others out there who feel lucky to be alive and are determined to make the most of life as best they can. I know I am.”
Action for Brain Injury Week runs from 28 September to 4 October. Organised by the charity Headway this year’s campaign is Memory Loss: A Campaign to Remember.
For more information visit www.headway.org.uk/news-and-campaigns/campaigns/memory-loss-a-campaign-to-remember/