A man who is using his own story of recovery from a serious brain injury to give hope and inspiration to others has agreed to become an ‘ambassador’ for personal injury specialists Hudgell Solicitors.
Paul Spence, of Hull, was left facing a battle to survive when suffering a brain haemorrhage three years ago. He was the victim of a violent, unprovoked attack, with his injury caused after falling backwards and hitting his head on a ceramic floor.
He spent five days in and out of consciousness and repeatedly suffered seizures on a high dependency ward in hospital.
Doctors said he was lucky to be alive, but his fight for survival was one he won, and he is now proving an inspiration to many with his own story of recovery and charity fundraising efforts.
Despite his own amazing recovery, Paul says he struggled to find the support he needed through much of his three-year battle.
As a result, he has established his own charity, Paul – For Brain Recovery, which has the long-term goal of opening a walk-in support centre in Hull for those who are trying to rebuild their lives following brain injuries.
Now, he has agreed to become an ‘ambassador’ for Hudgell Solicitors, which acts on behalf of those who have suffered brain injuries to secure them the rehabilitation and compensation they need to adapt to their situation and rebuild their lives.
The company has supported Paul on his various fundraising activities, and has helped him develop a new website for his charity work. Through his ‘ambassador’ role, he will now offer support and advice to those being supported by the firm, using his own experiences to give people a real-life example and mentor when facing the challenges ahead.
“I am absolutely thrilled to become an ambassador Hudgell Solicitors in supporting people on the long, hard journey to recovery after a brain injury,” said the 35-year-old.
“It is a perfect fit with all I am trying to do to raise awareness about the need for extra support for people who suffer from brain injuries, so it was something I was delighted to do when I was asked by Neil Hudgell.
“Neil explained to me that a big focus for the company is providing the very best service to clients, not just through compensating them financially, but crucially by supporting them through the physical and psychological challenges they face, and helping aid their rehabilitation.
“Having been on that incredibly long and difficult journey to recovery myself, I know just how important that was, and how I would have valued being able to speak to someone who had been there and walked the path before, understood the struggles and frustrations, and was able to put some positive perspective on the situation for me.
“It’s often not only about the impact on the individual. I know my injury affected my relationship with my loved ones, as they struggled in terms of how they should have been supporting me. They were brilliant and did their best for me, but it was a complete change for us all, and a struggle.
“Once you leave hospital you can find your biggest challenge is only just starting, and that is adapting to your new life and finding it in yourself to accept your old life is gone forever.
“Quite simply, nothing could prepare me or my family for the battle of brain recovery. Hopefully, by being there for the clients of Hudgell Solicitors, I’ll be able to act as a positive role model. I know staying positive is key, and I’ll try and ensure the people I support are always looking ahead with positivity, even though I know that is difficult at times.”
Hudgell Solicitors, which has offices in Hull, Leeds and London, has won industry recognition for its dedication to placing rehabilitation and client support at the heart of every case.
It has a network of partners able to assist with high quality rehabilitation support and is a member of The Brain Injury Group – a network of specialist brain injury solicitors and support services to help brain-injured people, and Headway – a registered charity set up to give help and support to people affected by brain injury.
Managing director Neil Hudgell believes the support of Paul, who will be able to offer very personal support to clients, will help people hugely.
“Paul is an inspirational character and he wants to share his experiences to help others on the road to recovery,” he said.
“We have long recognised the need for rehabilitation to be at the heart of our work in supporting our clients, but as Paul has been highlighting, this support can be difficult to access when patients leave hospital and return home. It is a massive, life-changing moment for both the individual and their families.
“Paul is doing a tremendous amount of work to raise awareness of this issue, and we have been delighted to support him in his fundraising efforts.
“We’re all working to the same goal of providing better to support to people who suffer life-changing, serious injuries, so we are a perfect partnership, and we know the support of Paul will be greatly appreciated by the people we represent.”
Three years after his injury, Paul is now fighting fit and a man determined to make a positive difference.
He has already helped many not only in the UK, but internationally, by charting a timeline of his recovery, and the difficulties, both physically and emotionally that he and his family faced, on his website blog.
He has also thrown himself into fundraising as his own fitness has improved, raising £30,000 for the Neurology Ward at Hull Royal Infirmary through various events, including family fun days and marathons.
Earlier this year, he ran four marathons over four consecutive days to complete a lap of the island of Ibiza to mark the national Action for Brain Injury awareness week.
To learn more about Paul’s charity work and brain injury support, visit his website at http://www.paulmybrainrecovery.co.uk/