Lawyers Secure Settlement To Help Fund Keen Runner’s Rehabilitation
A keen runner seriously injured when he was hit by a car has continued his remarkable recovery by celebrating his return to his running club for the first time since the collision.
Alex Ford suffered a catalogue of injuries, including multiple spinal and leg fractures as well as a fractured skull and a bleed on the brain, when he was knocked down by a car on the A4063 Tondu Road in Bridgend, Wales, in October 2019.
At the time Alex was on an organised training run with a group from Brackla Harriers running club. Alex has been a member of the group for many years, being one of the many experienced runners who were out with the group at the time.
Serious injury lawyers instructed to help Bridgend runner access rehabilitation
Following the collision, Alex, 70, and his wife Jane, 62, of Bridgend, instructed James Davies and Declan French, expert serious injury lawyers at Irwin Mitchell, to investigate and help him access the specialist rehabilitation and therapies he requires.
Alex recently completed his first post-collision five kilometre run and now has his eye on entering competitive racing again in September. He has spoken of his determination to overcome his injuries and return to the sport he loves - having returned to his running club for the first time in 19 months.
Man's road safety warning after suffering spinal and brain injuries
He is also warning of the consequences of the drivers not taking care on the roads. It comes after Alex’s legal team secured a substantial undisclosed settlement from the driver’s insurance company.
Expert Opinion“The last couple of years have been incredibly difficult for Alex and his family as they attempted to come to terms with his very serious injuries.
“Securing early access to specialist rehabilitation for Alex has made a huge difference to his recovery. While he still faces many challenges Alex’s progress has been nothing short of remarkable and it’s fantastic that he’s now back to enjoying his passion of running.
“We hope that the courage and determination Alex has shown inspires others.
“However, it’s also vital that people take care on the roads at all times. Alex’s case vividly highlights the consequences vulnerable road users such as runners and cyclists can be left to face as the result of collisions.” Declan French - Associate
Brain injury: Alex's story
Alex, whose long and varied career has involved working in the Merchant Navy, as a land and forestry worker and as a huntsman for Llangeinor Hunt, was wearing a high vis jacket when running with eight other members of his running group.
In addition to his head and spinal injuries, Alex suffered facial fractures and a broken arm and shoulder. He was taken to Bridgend Hospital before being transferred to Cardiff’s Heath Hospital due to the severity of his condition.
Alex was admitted to the intensive care unit, where he underwent extensive emergency investigations and surgeries in order to stabilise multiple fractures of his spine and other orthopaedic injuries. He spent around six weeks under sedation and then a further seven weeks on the trauma ward, before he was able to return home to his wife’s care in January 2020.
Jane runs her own business as an equine coach for competition sports riders. The couple live close to their son and young grandchildren.
South Wales runner continues to live with impact of injuries
Alex still has ongoing cognitive issues and has been diagnosed with epilepsy. He has memory and concentration problems and struggles to forward plan.
He said: “I can remember that I was out running but the next thing I remember was waking up in hospital. In some respects I’m fortunate that I can’t remember the collision, but it still bothers me as I’m such a careful runner and have run that route many times before.
“Since that day life has been totally different. Coming to terms with my injuries and how they’ve affected me and my family has been difficult. It’s still an adjustment, but I’m very grateful for the support I’ve had and the progress I’ve made so far.
“I used to be very active, loved running and was always on the go. Since the accident, however, I’ve become a lot more reliant on my family, particularly Jane, and also my therapy team.
“There have been difficult times over the past few years and it’s not been easy. However, I was determined not to be defined by my injuries and I’ve set myself goals from day one. Getting home was the first target and I’ve gradually built up to the point where, with some hard work and great support and advice, I’m running again.
Alex determined to overcome serious spinal and brain injuries
“While I’ve made great progress I’m still not the same person I was. Although the physical scars are healing I still have injuries that people can’t see. My memory is not what it used to be and my attention span isn’t the same. I often get distracted and can go off on a tangent.
“Getting back running was a major focus for me. I’m nowhere near the level I was before my injuries but getting back to running has been a real boost to me. The first one was difficult but completing it has really spurred me on to focus on my recovery and reclaiming more of my old life back. Being able to now return to running with the club was a huge milestone for me.
“I’m already looking at what other races I can take part in.
“I just hope that by speaking out others who may be in a similar position don’t feel they have to suffer alone as support is available.
“It’s also important that people realise the impact not paying attention on the roads can have on others.”
Following a police investigation, it was decided that the driver would not face criminal charges.