Nineteen-Year-Old Is One Of Six Students Across UK To Make Final Stage
A Cambridgeshire teenager who sustained a brain injury when he was knocked off his bike as he cycled home has defied the odds and been shortlisted for a national award.
Haydn Garrod, of Soham, was seriously injured when he was involved in a collision with a car that attempted to overtake him as he turned from Station Road on to Cockpen Road in Fordham in August 2018. He was 15 at the time and suffered a brain injury, as well as right-sided paralysis and loss of vision.
He spent seven weeks in hospital, two of which he was in a coma. This was followed by three months of rehabilitation.
Following the incident, Haydn’s mum Amanda instructed expert serious injury lawyers at Irwin Mitchell to help her son.
Now 19, Haydn studies carpentry at Cambridge Regional College. His determination to succeed has led to him being nominated for an Association of Colleges Young Student of the Year Award.
He is now joining with his legal team in marking Road Safety Week by sharing his recent success while urging road users to stay safe.
Expert Opinion“Haydn is an inspirational young man. He sustained terrible injuries when he was knocked off his bike but has shown such bravery and determination to move forward with his life.
To hear that he has not only been nominated for this national award, but has also made the shortlist, is an incredible achievement. He has put in a lot of hard work and it’s very well deserved.
We will continue to support Haydn and Amanda, and as he progresses with his recovery, we’re excited to see what the future holds for him.”
Justina Molloy - Senior Associate Solicitor
Since the collision, Haydn lives with cognitive issues, along with speech, mobility and memory problems. He isn’t allowed to hold a driving licence due to his sight loss.
Despite the ongoing difficulties and daily challenges he faces, he is thriving in his studies. He returned to education taking on the entry level construction course, also studying functional skills in English and Maths.
The Introduction to Construction course allowed Haydn to sample brickwork, painting and decorating, plumbing, electrics and carpentry.
This year, he returned to college to complete a Level 1 Carpentry course. He was recently awarded Learner of the Year in the Cambridge Regional College Festival of Achievement 2021. He has now been shortlisted in the category of Young Student of the Year in the Association of Colleges Awards. He was nominated by the tutors and mentors who have supported him, and is one of six students to have reached the final stage from colleges around the UK, with the winner to be announced early next year.
Haydn said: “When I found out how bad my injuries were, I worried about my future and what to do next, but I’ve now found something I really enjoying doing, and more importantly I’m pretty good at it.
“I spend a lot of time in the workshops to get as much hands-on experience as possible, as I would love to complete an apprenticeship one day to help me set up my own business in the future.
“To win an award at college was incredible, but to then be told that I’ve now also been shortlisted for a national award is beyond anything I could have ever dreamed of.
“While there is nothing I can do to change what happened to me, the support I’ve had has helped me so much along the way and I wouldn’t have got to where I am without my family, tutors and mentors. I’m so grateful.
“All I hope for now is that by sharing my story, I can encourage others to take care on the roads, and to also show people what’s achievable when you put your mind to something.”
Road Safety Week runs from 15 – 21 November and is organised by the charity Brake.
Find out more about Irwin Mitchell's expertise in handling serious injury cases