2015 UKABIF Conference
I’ve had a pretty mental week. Supremely re/ a-warding though…(certainly not relating to the calibre of my jokes!)
On Wednesday, 11 November I went to the 2015 UKABIF conference in London. I thought it was just to say a few words about why I’d chosen to raise money for this awesome charity and be presented with a thank you type award.
I got up on the stage expecting this to happen.
It did not.
The speaker announcing the awards started describing little old me. And then announced to everybody, including me, that I had won the ‘Stephen McAleese award for inspiration by an individual in the field of ABI’!!
Have a look at this link to see just how amazing this man was and hopefully you will see why this is such an honour:
Suddenly, the thank you that I had written didn’t seem too much anymore. If anything, it seemed way too little! Here are the few words that I said (still in a state of shock I might add):
I’ve been asked to say a few words about why I chose to raise money for UKABIF. Let me start by introducing myself:
My name is Nick Verron. On July 4, 2009 I was attacked resulting in a TBI. I was stabbed through my left temple with a 10 inch screwdriver, so deep and with so much force that the handle smashed my skull leaving fragments strewn in my brain. This resulted in a subarachnoid haemorrhage and left me in a coma with a GCS of 3. I was expected to become a persistent vegetable. I’m told that the best I could hope for was to wake up and have the mentality of a happy 2 year old. When I woke up after a month with normal cognitive function, the medical profession was shocked. I understand that there is a short window where rehabilitation is most effective as the brain is plastic. However, for me there was no rush? Apparently this is quite commonplace. We need to be making sure that this window is fully utilised.
The term “traumatic brain injury” has two meanings for me. The period after my injury was the epitome of traumatic. I don’t want people to have to feel the way that I did, to have to fight against parts of the medical profession at every turn to fight for a recovery they are not supposed to have. There is so much out there which could help brain injury sufferers. But even if there were a cure for world hunger, it would be useless if we didn’t know where to find it! There needs to be fundamental change in how neurological injuries are treated, from start to finish.
UKABIF are in the corner fighting for all brain injury, DEDICATED to bringing about that change. They stand to drastically improve the quality of life of so many.
I chose to raise money for UKABIF because if I were to start my own charity, it would look like UKABIF.”
When I’d finished, the applause seemed massive. I just thought to myself, “did you EVER expect to feel this, a lecture theatre filled with 100’s of professionals, clapping after you just stood up to give a speech?”. It wasn’t long ago I couldn’t even sit up; not long before that I couldn’t even talk! I think the biggest achievement of the day was not bursting out into tears of happiness.
Belief in myself, against all odds, had paid off.