On 16th June this year a 2nd tragic accident on Beaumont hill hit the news. Michael had been cycling down the hill on a glorious summer day. Although he has no recollection of the accident, he knows he was going too fast, was not wearing a helmet and there was no other vehicle involved. Michael’s accident was very serious; he had impacted into a granite wall head first. Fortunately there was a paramedic at the scene of the accident who was able to give immediate first aid. The ambulance staff and police officers worked together to prepare Michael for treatment at The General Hospital before being transferred to Southampton Hospital. Michael spent 6 weeks in a coma being cared for by an expert team on a specialist intensive care ward at the Wessex Neurological Centre. Throughout this traumatic period his family were by his side.
Michael’s family have been through an emotional rollercoaster. Michael’s brother Allan explained “It’s the call you never expect to get. I got the boat and our mum immediately travelled from Scotland to be by his side. It was very shocking to see him, the swelling was terrible and we had no idea what his condition was going to be if he came round. The hospital and level of care were phenomenal but it was very difficult being on the same ward as many other emergencies and families in the same situation as us. Some of those people did not survive.”
Following expert treatment Michael was brought out of his coma to undergo intensive surgery on his brain and facial reconstruction. The operation was a success but unfortunately did cause some damage in one of the optic nerves which means he has little vision in one eye. Michael’s road to recovery has been remarkable but it has taken time to communicate, regain memories and come to terms with reality. He is now back in Jersey and has been reunited with his 3 sons.
Since the accident Headway has supported the family by providing help and information. Now that Michael has been discharged from Overdale he has been regularly attending the Headway Centre. Headway continues to support the family and also provides a safe and friendly environment to help Michael adjust to life following his brain injury. He is continuing to make great progress.