When Danny Young was eighteen, he was in a serious motorbike accident and suffered a catastrophic head injury.
As anyone might imagine, this had life changing consequences for Danny. But surprisingly, many of them have been far from negative.
Now thirty and married with a young son, Danny works as a Support Worker at Autism Wessex and recalls how his life was transformed in a split second, twelve years ago.
“At eighteen I was working towards becoming an electrician and, like most eighteen year olds, the world was my oyster. I loved my motorbike and seeing my mates and I was training to be an electrician. I had a steady girlfriend and life looked good.”
Then in 2003 Danny found himself in a collision which altered the course of his life forever. Unconscious on the roadside CPR was performed on Danny who also sustained liver and kidney damage as well as a life threatening bleed on the brain.
“Rehabilitation was slow and took a very long time. The bleed on the brain has left me with permanent short term memory loss and difficulties with my concentration, which means, without cues and prompts to remind me, I am continuously forgetting where I am supposed to be next. Both professionally and socially this has had a significant impact and meant I could no longer train to be an electrician.
I was put in touch with the Brain Injury Charity Headways who taught me strategies on how to cope with my amnesia as well as giving me prompts to remind me of things and techniques to use day to day so I could rebuild my life again.
I am without doubt a different person today from who I was before the accident. My family and friends have had to adjust to the new me, and my new ways. My ambition was always to become an electrician, however, after my brain injury I decided that I wanted to work in care and give something back to others. Prior to working at Autism Wessex I volunteered for the charity Headway providing home care, which gave me a good grounding for what lay ahead.
Not only that but I have now passed my Level 3 Diploma in Health and Social Care. It was hard studying, especially with memory loss and my difficulties with concentrating, but I am so excited to have proven to myself that I can take in new information. And now I know I can study, the world is my oyster again.”
Danny has now worked at one of Autism Wessex’ residential homes for four young adults with autism for 3 years and is very much admired for his passion, hard work and commitment.
Gayle Morgan, Manager at Autism Wessex’ Rose Cottage comments; “Danny works hard every day to support the service users in his care. For Dan this is 10 times harder than for anyone else but he is constant in his desire and enthusiasm to achieve the best he can.”