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‘Remarkable’ Brain Injury Survivor Overcomes All The Odds To Speak At Conference

Irwin Mitchell Holds Conference To Support Action For Brain Injury Week


By Helen MacGregor

A Solihull man who was left with severe communication difficulties after a life-changing brain injury has overcome all the odds and has presented at a conference to mark Action for Brain Injury Week to highlight the importance of access to rehabilitation services.
In the early stages of Stephen Roger’s recovery he was only able to communicate one syllable words after being hit by a car whilst crossing the road the day before his 19th birthday whilst at University in Sheffield in 2005.

Stephen  has  made remarkable progress over the last eight years and now lives in his own adapted bungalow, is a keen photographer and works as a volunteer with Solihull Life Opportunities (SoLO), a charity which enables children, young people and adults with learning disabilities to enjoy social and leisure activities that the rest of us take for granted.

One of the rehabilitation professionals who worked with Stephen was Helena Bryant, now a Client Liaison Manager at Irwin Mitchell.  Helena worked with Stephen in the early stages of his recovery after he was discharged from hospital. Stephen has recently made contact with Helena again via his Speech and Language Therapist, Jo Frost of Therapy Midlands. 

Stephen credits ‘great’ rehabilitation services, case management, ongoing support from family and friends and the tremendous input from his therapists including Jo Frost, for his remarkable recovery.

As the country marks Action for Brain Injury week from 13-19 May, Stephen agreed to speak at a conference being run jointly between The University of Northampton School of Health and Irwin Mitchell on 15th May called 'Living Life - Beyond Rehabilitation'. 

The aim and purpose of the conference was to explore the different rehabilitation pathways that people with brain injuries experience and to identify where current provision is lacking and what more can be done to support people to lead full and purposeful lives.

The law firm has also accepted a request from Stephen to support him in a current photography project; he plans to create a 2014 calendar of evening and night time photographs of landmarks in Birmingham and the West Midlands. The calendar will be sold to raise funds for SoLO.

Helena commented: “Stephen’s progress has been absolutely remarkable; when he came into the office to talk to myself and a colleague about the work he was doing for SoLO I could not believe what fantastic progress he had made. I am thrilled that Irwin Mitchell can support the project to help get his calendar to print.

Stephen said: “After the accident there was a time when I felt very lost and didn’t know what my future would hold.

“But the great rehabilitation services at the hospitals and having one-to-one support with professionals such as my case manager gave me hope and the positive outlook that I could rebuild my life.

“I was determined to improve my speech and communication skills and working with Jo and previous therapists who were all patient and supportive meant slowly but surely I overcame each hurdle and challenge I faced.

“I now want to use my story to inspire others and show that there is always hope which is why I agreed to speak at the conference. Public speaking on such a large scale would not have been possible five years ago but it’s thanks to the people who have worked with me that I can stand up there with pride and show there is hope after brain injury.”

Our serious injury solicitors could help you claim compensation if you have suffered a serious head or brain injury as the result of an accident. See our Brain & Head Injury Compensation Claims page for more information.