Michael Pierce Joins Irwin Mitchell To Raise Awareness About Life After Traumatic Injury In Support Of Brain Injury Association, Headway
A storeman who was seriously injured after being crushed by steel plates while at work is speaking about his recovery for Action For Brain Injury Week.
Michael Pierce, 57, from Amesbury, Wiltshire, suffered multiple facial fractures, severe head injuries and an open fracture to his right leg on April 13 last year when two tonnes of steel slid off a trailer at work and on top of him.
Michael’s wife Rachael instructed expert serious injury lawyers to investigate the accident at Equinox International in Old Sarum and help her husband access the right support and rehabilitation for his brain injury which had resulted in cognitive difficulties, memory loss, fatigue and behavioural changes.
Taking place from May 8 to 14, this year’s Action For Brain Injury campaign week, organised by charity Headway, is based around the theme of life after brain injury and how such injuries have a lasting impact on not only survivors but also their families and carers.
As part of its work Headway has established ‘a new me’, a platform for people to share experiences which has been created to both challenge misconceptions about brain injury and also highlight the value that the right support can provide.
Michael, who has been unable to work since the accident which almost ended his life, is hoping to educate people about brain injury by telling his story.
He said: ““I have had to accept that my brain injury has changed me. I am not the same person and life is more challenging.
“The biggest thing about brain injury for me, is worrying what other people think of me, which some may think should be the least of my worries, but in reality I am often anxious about what I perceive people think of me. I worry they think I’m drunk because of the way I speak or if I take my time doing or saying something.
“My memory has improved from what it was in the months immediately after the accident, but it’s still an issue. For example, I can’t remember when or how much medication I have taken so I have to make a note. It’s been unreliable in the past and I’ve ended up overdosing on pain medication and having to go to hospital.
“I’m also really reliant on Rachael for managing day to day things. I feel very anxious, which is difficult to control and I struggle with basic things like going to the shops to pick up a few things.
“Action For Brain Injury Week is a great opportunity to open up about life with a brain injury in the hope that more people can understand those challenges. It is a long road ahead for most of us, but somewhere on the way we have to accept the ‘new’ me and with the right support and rehabilitation can hopefully move on with life.”
Although Michael has no memory of his accident, it is understood that he and a colleague were loading steel plates on to a vehicle trailer using a crane controlled remotely. Michael had begun to operate the crane when the load lifted one side and slid off the trailer on top of him.
Irwin Mitchell’s specialist serious injury lawyers, who have vast experience of helping brain injury survivors, such as Michael, access vital financial support to fund their rehabilitation.
Expert Opinion“Through our work we have seen numerous instances when people’s lives have been completely turned upside down as a result of a traumatic brain injury, whether it is survivors themselves, family members or friends.
“It can be an incredibly difficult period of anyone’s life, but we also know how access to the right rehabilitation and support can help survivors get the best from life.
“We are a proud supporter of the work of Headway and warmly welcome the focus of this year’s Action for Brain Injury Week. It is a vital reminder of how so many survivors – like Michael - are able to overcome incredible obstacles to regain much-needed independence.
“Misunderstandings surrounding his brain injury worry Michael the most. He fears that people assume he is drunk or stupid when he tries to speak with them or respond to a question. So he hopes that by being open about his injuries and life after the accident in general he can make people more aware of the everyday challenges brain injury survivors face.” Claire Howard - Partner
Prior to the accident Michael was due to be made redundant and was looking forward to trying to get an new job and to see what else was out there.
But now, because of his injuries, he is unable to look for work and is heavily reliant upon his wife for support.
Michael now has the support of a case manager who is helping him access rehabilitation he requires and is trying to get him some volunteering work to try and structure his week.