Lawyers Secure Interim Payment To Help Fund Student’s Specialist Rehabilitation
A student left fighting for his life when a car and his bike collided has spoken of his determination to overcome his injuries.
Billy Draper-Barr suffered a traumatic brain injury when his bicycle was involved in a collision with a car that had pulled out in front of him from a side road in Hammersmith.
The 21-year-old was thrown onto the windscreen before falling to the ground. He managed to pull himself to the side of the road and dialled 999 before losing consciousness.
Billy, a mechanical engineering student at Imperial College London, was taken to St Mary’s Hospital where he underwent an emergency craniotomy to relieve a bleed on the brain.
Cyclist who suffered brain injury asks lawyers for help
Following the collision Billy, who lives in Hammersmith during term time, instructed expert serious injury lawyers at Irwin Mitchell to help him access the specialist care and therapies he requires.
Billy, originally from Worcestershire, is now using Action for Brain Injury Week to speak for the first time about his injuries and how he’s determined to overcome them.
Lawyers secure payment to fund brain injury rehabilitation
It comes after his legal team at Irwin Mitchell secured an interim payment to fund his ongoing rehabilitation, including physiotherapy, neuropsychology, occupational therapy as well as speech and language therapy.
Billy was also recently shortlisted in the top 10 finalists of the Excellence Through Adversity category in this year’s Undergraduate of the Year Awards.
Expert Opinion"Billy suffered very serious injuries in the collision which have had a profound effect on him. Coming to terms with what happened has understandably been difficult for Billy as well as his family.
“The amazing work of Headway and of the team at Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust made a huge difference to Billy’s condition. The early instruction of a case manager has meant that he has access to the specialist support he needs to continue his studies and make the best possible recovery.
“Action for Brain Injury Week is an important reminder how people can be affected by a brain injury long after the physical wounds have disappeared.
“Billy’s courage and determination not to be defined by his injuries has been amazing and his nomination for an Undergraduate of the Year Award is very well deserved.
“We’ll continue to support Billy through the challenges he continues to face but hope his story helps inspire other people in a similar situation.” Sarah Griggs - Partner
Serious injury: Billy's story
Billy was a second year student completing a summer internship with a medical technology firm when the collision happened. He was cycling to work in North End Road when a Mercedes C class pulled out of Mund Street at around 8.15am on 7 August last year.
Billy spent nearly two weeks in hospital before being discharged home to be cared for by parents.
Billy has since sat his second year university exams and returned to his studies. However, he is still under the care of consultants at St Mary’s Hospital and is trying hard to catch up on his course. The lasting impact of his injuries is not yet known. He continues to suffer with fatigue and problems with his speech.
He said: “All I can remember about the collision was suddenly seeing a car pulling out and then me coming off the bike and ending up on the ground.
“I’m not sure how but I managed to get to the roadside and dial 999, thinking it was important I stayed awake. The next thing I was in hospital hooked up to various machines.
“The last few months and attempting to come to terms with what happened has been difficult. Before the collision I was on top of my studies and was really enjoying my internship. But the last few months have been a lot harder, it takes a lot more planning to ensure that I don’t fall behind.
“I struggle to concentrate as much because I tire easily and sometimes struggle to find the words I want to say. Trying to catch up on my course has been difficult. I’ve attending lectures in person but I’ve also undertaken a lot of online learning.
Student determined to overcome brain injury
“The support I’ve had from family, friends, university and others has been amazing. It’s made such a difference. While I didn’t win the Undergraduate of the Year Award it was incredible to reach the final as more than 5,000 people entered.
“The nomination meant so much to me. It was a true reflection of the support I’ve been given which has allowed me to continue my student education and experience with confidence despite a severe traumatic brain injury.
“I now want to remain focused on my studies and making the best possible recovery I can. I just hope that by speaking out people in a similar position realise that there’s help and support available and that it makes such a difference.”
Action for Brain Injury Week runs from 17-23 May and is supported by the charity Headway. For more information visit www.headway.org.uk
Find out more about our expertise in helping people following road collisions at our dedicated serious injury section. Alternatively to speak to an expert contact us or call 0370 1500 100.