My Story

My name is Nick Verron.

I’m 6 years old and shouldn’t be here.

Early in the morning,

on July 4th 2009…

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I attended an impromptu meeting with the world renowned 

Head Anti-Archaeologist Mr G. Reaper;

 I’m told he’s very diligent regarding execution of his Skills For Life.

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In America, they celebrate Independence Day on the 4th July. Ironically, this was the day that I lost mine, along with everything else. This however, was also the day that I was given my second chance at life; I have since dubbed it my Rebirthday. I  found a loophole in Mr Reaper’s fine-print: I had the option to use a 1-Up (extra life)…

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amazing

Actualisation through belief

BUT, the drawback was that I’d have to become a “persistent vegetable in a state” (be in a persistent vegetative state ie. “brain dead”).

So, I’d become an anomalous tomato; an unpredictable, misconceieved vegetable.

A “tomanomaly”!

NastyTomatoe nameEXP

Persistent Tomanomaly


It was the evening of July 3rd 2009 when I started arguing with my girlfriend. Our arguing resulted in us breaking up.

I left the house at around 1am the next morning. Within 5 minutes, when I was on my way to a night club and had got a little way down the road, a group of teenagers asked me to buy some cigarettes for them. When I refused, the gang ringleader threatened to kill me. With post traumatic amnesia, I’m not entirely sure what happened that fateful night, but am told that an argument ensued. As I walked away, the ringleader ran up behind me and rammed a 10 inch screwdriver through my temple, so deep that the handle shattered my skull. I was left there to die but luckily some strangers walking past found me and called an ambulance. I was taken to hospital but the full extent of the damage was not apparent as the puncture wound in my temple looked like I had just caught it in a drunken argument with the kerb.

When the severity of the damage was recognised, and I had had brain surgery to remove the shards of skull left in the destructive wake of the screwdriver, I was not expected to survive. If in the unlikely event I did, I was expected to be left in a persistent vegetative state. I’m told the very best that could be hoped for, was to have the mentality of a happy two-year-old (however this only happens sporadically…) and that any chance of independence and decent quality of life was surely impossible. When I miraculously awoke from my weeks of coma, I couldn’t speak, sit up, and was paralysed down one side.

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“I need this like a hole in the head”  — never thought I’d be able to say that literally!!
I found this video on Youtube (from Taiwan?) of a news story of me done just after the attack. It includes a 3D re-enactment of what happened which may be a little inaccurate!

After being laid in hospital for months and praying for a chance to be able to start fighting against my situation, in rehab I immediately set about continuing to defy predictions. I was told any hope of further recovery was all but impossible and that I should accept my disabilities and limitations and get used to living with them. So I did 3 hours of exercise per day with a 1 kg weight along with insisting I use a standing frame regularly. They told me this was detrimental and pointless. So I doubled what I was doing. They then put me in a room with someone that snores where I couldn’t sleep. So I tripled it! Coincidentally, when I was discharged 3 months later they did a presentation about how much they’d helped me improve.

collage 2Pictures above taken around 3 months after the attack. I still couldn’t sit unsupported but had un- paralysed myself and already achieved way more than should be possible. It was so annoying as all I had to do was lean forward marginally and I’d fall flat on my face.


My motto has always been “I REFUSE TO LOSE“. I’ve broken just about every rule in the medical profession, including dying being the end of your life. It was the beginning of mine and I wouldn’t change a thing. This ordeal has shaped me into the person I am today.

One of the main things to remember if you’re trying to fight against adversity:

If you believe you can, YOU WILL!

 ——-

“Do not let circumstances defeat you.

You can if you think you can.

Optimism is the tool to help you get up

after a fall, and to keep

going towards the life you really want.”


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After being released from prison (that’s what it felt like in rehab), and also being engaged twice, I got some free weights and locked myself away in my mum’s bedroom. I shortly went on holiday to the rave that I should have been at the previous year (1st picture below) but was busy being in a coma. The rave was HTID In the Sun in Spain. After 10 months of waking up from my coma, initially not strong enough to support my own weight with my legs, I stood for 7 nights of raves and drinking, on average 8 hours per night. When I got back to the UK, I spent up to 18 hours a day lifting free weights and every type of rehab exercise we could find, to try and get my body back under the control of my brain. I then got my tattoo (2nd picture below), which says “possum ergo facit”, Latin for “I can therefore I do”. “Envy” relates to my initials phonetically.

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The NHS physio soon discharged me from ongoing therapy,  saying there was nothing more they could do for me. She copied me into a letter to my GP saying “his goal of walking unaided is unrealistic”.

I’ll bloody show her unrealistic!!


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In 2011 I moved into my own house. After being definitively told that this would never be a possibility. Ha!!!

I set my spare room up as a gym and pretty much lived in there. I’ve included some pictures where you can visually see progress I made. I don’t think they would be very interesting pictures to show the countless hours that I have spent learning basic human functions again, such as endless time in the kitchen, doing speech therapy, eye/facial exercises, standing practice etc (the list would need it’s own blog post!). I devoted my life to my recovery.


Mid 2012, I met Faith on an online dating site. Faith has serious mental issues but I really hoped we could work through them and enjoy our lives together. She pushed the boundaries of my disability and the good for me outweighed the bad. She was awesome because every time I said, “I can’t do that,” she’d ask why and help me use the things I could do, to find creative ways to achieve things I’d assumed I couldn’t do. Within 6 weeks of meeting, we were exploring Santorini with her giving me a “backy” on a quad bike, going snorkelling and stuff 🙂

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After a year and a half we got married. We’d initially agreed to, so she could stay with me in the UK when her visa expired.

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Almost immediately though, her mental health began to rapidly deteriorate and she had to go back to Singapore for treatment. I wasn’t allowed to visit for 3 months. When I went to visit my new wife in Singapore, she quickly announced that she was pregnant and we had conceived on my first day in Singapore….

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This is my son Daniel Verron shortly after he was born, which I’m told was 29/09/14. I wanted so much to be there for this that I was willing to disregard all my moral principles and better judgement. These are nearly all the photos I have of him. Faith has very effectively cut me out of his life. I am including this section of my story because I don’t want him to think that I don’t care.

If you ever read this Daniel, my book “Possum Ergo Facit” will hopefully be published, explaining everything.


collage 21 I was wrong. We couldn’t work through Faith’s mental issues. I should’ve predicted this would be the case, her being so intellectually brilliant and so adept at problem solving, yet still plagued by her self imposed mental demons. She’s her own worst enemy! But I had held onto hope.

The bad outweighed the good so much that I was dragged into a pit of mind and soul consuming depression which led to a psychiatric injury (I temporarily lost my mind). It killed me a little inside how she heartlessly denied our son a father who offered to move to Singapore and provide for his child with everything that he has and is.1970420_10203516766858950_812573756_n

But luckily “I Refuse To Lose”. When you fall down, get back up again!

 

I’d fallen so low, I needed to go really high to compensate.

In hindsight, I may have taken this a bit literally….

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Click the pictures above to watch my 13,000ft skydive 🙂


I don’t feel that I’m putting any more effort in now, than I did a few years ago behind closed doors. It’s just able to be externally quantified now!

A phase of complete awesomeness has started recently. You’ll have to read my blog to keep abreast of new developments, but I’ll outline some of the main recent events:

I managed to walk unaided!

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I completed the Para-Tri event with 2 legendettes

Watch BBC News stories covering this here and here

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I completed the London to Brighton ride,

54 miles, for the charity Headway, 2 months after getting my trike! (Carrying 15 kg so that I could stay in The Grand hotel Brighton as a reward)

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Me receiving the Stephen McAleese award for Inspiration at the 2015 UKABIF conference

Click the picture to see a post I find quite emotional, explaining why I was nominated for this award.

Nick Heather and Ava

©2015 Copyright Rod Leon. 11th November 2015 UKABIF 7th Annual Brain Injury Conference at The Royal College of General Practitioners, 30 Euston Square London, NW1 2HD. Tel:+144(0)7453-721575. rod@allimages.net COMPULSORY CREDIT: Rod Leon. All rights reserved Moral rights asserted under Copyright Design Patents Act 1988. No part of this Photograph to be stored, reproduced, manipulated or transmitted without permission. Photographs are for editorial use only.


“So many of our dreams at first seem impossible, then they seem improbable, and then, when we summon the will, they soon become inevitable.” –  Christopher Reeve

  1. You’re a star Nick. No wonder your Mum is so proud.
    Hugs

    Liked by 4 people

  2. Nick you are a shining example for so many to maintain determination. I’m so sorry about the difficulties to be with your child. I’m hoping perhaps in time you’ll find a new way to connect with him, after all, you’ve overcome impossible odds already, so I have great faith in you.
    Not only did you survive all odds, but your brain is in tact leaving you with a most brilliant capacity to write. You must publish your story and give hope to so many who could use your inspiration. Sharing around! 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

    • I hold onto hope of what the future will bring regarding my son. I agree, I am in a truly unique situation and must certainly make sure to utilise this opportunity that I’ve been given; make the most of the skills that I’ve been blessed to retain. I take great pleasure in improving people’s lives. If I do this on a wide scale, I will be a happy chappy 🙂

      Liked by 3 people

  3. You are strong and courageous. Hugs, my friend.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Just goes to show you that you are so much more than your parts, which is usually all the MDs will comment on. The brains is an incredible organ!

    Liked by 2 people

  5. An amazing story. I’ll be very interested in the book. Death does sometimes give us choices. I guess we will never know about those who chose the other way because the ones who pass over don’t come back to tell us about it.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Well in may dreams (nightmares) in the coma, I had the option, many times, to give in. Where I was brain dead, I was in a multitude of vivid realities. I do wonder if a nicer one was waiting round the corner?

      Liked by 2 people

  6. Hi Nick, thanks for the follow. I picked up your post via Chris Graham’s blog and was happy to tweet it and share it on my FB page. I’ve now had a chance to look at the background and can see that it was just one of many inspiring posts. thank you.

    Liked by 2 people

  7. An inspiration to so many others!

    Liked by 2 people

  8. Hi Nick thank you for your recent “Like” to my Haiku Poem “Breathe” I am happy that you like it! ❤ I like your new layout and Theme for your Blog the Blue background and everything fits great to your story! I hope that you are doing great and I am always happy to see you visiting my Blog! Have a great weekend!

    Liked by 2 people

  9. Wow!! Just WOW!!! What a journey, Nick!!! Whilst my story is very different, and I haven’t written about it yet, I had a very serious accident 5 years ago. I fell down 15 stairs and shattered my right foot. I spent 1 month in hospital, 6 months in a wheel chair and 10 months learning to walk again. I have 10 screws and 2 plates in my foot. A permanent disability that changed my life forever. You are right, sometimes you do get second chances!!! Jo. Xx

    Liked by 2 people

    • Thanks very much for sharing! From experience, I can say that it is very therapeutic to put down “on paper” what you’ve been through; it really puts things in perspective. It takes such strength to get through ANY disability. If you’re anything like me, you probably haven’t given yourself anywhere enough credit for what you’ve achieved. X

      Liked by 1 person

  10. All I can say is- get outta your way when you want something!! I’m totally amazed at your singleness of purpose, and your will to succeed!
    Congrats on your new life! I’m so sorry to hear about your son. I can’t even begin to imagine your heartbreak.
    Thanks for the follow! Your mom praises you to the skies! She is so proud of you, and rightfully so!

    Liked by 2 people

  11. Your story leaves me with so many thoughts I can’t sort them out except to say how much I admire how hard you are working and how much you are accomplishing. You are a shining light in an often too dark world Nick. Shine on my friend~

    Liked by 2 people

  12. Hi Nick,
    I’m so pleased to find your blog and read your story first hand. I have been reading your Mum’s blog for awhile now and we’ve connected on this whole neurological roller coaster of journey through hell but finding our way out and you like me, haven’t stop going through the ups and downs since. I have now realized that this is life and this idea of conquering your mountain and being able to bask in that glory doesn’t last long.
    I was 25 when my life started spiralling out of control. For awhile, I thought it was stress and I saw a psychologist and was very involved at Church but things only got worse. My balance started to go and things were spinning but that’s also what stress does to you. I seemingly met the love of my life and packed everything up and moved from Sydney to Perth on a gut feel and thinking a quieter lifestyle might do me some good. However, nothing changed and when I popped home for Christmas, I saw the same GP I’d been seeing all my life and he asked me to touch my nose, but I missed. He referred me to a neurologist and I was diagnosed with hydrocephalus and that night flew back to Perth with my scans under my arm. Told to get an MRI. They were rare then. 6 months later, I was in a neurological haze like you read about in Oliver Sacks. Had a shunt put in and returned to Sydney for rehab. Shunt blocked. More surgery. More rehab. Relationship ultimately failed. Gredually returned to work. Too stressful. Found less stressful job. Got married. 2 kids. Birth of second daughter triggered severe life-threatening auto-immune disease. Once again, can’t walk back in hospital. Rehab. Rehab, as I’m sure it was for you, with the over 80 year olds and really feeling like I’d been sentenced to life imprisonment in a nursing home. Yes, I relate to your “jail” statement!! I am still here. 2012 I took up the violin and 2013 went skiing. That was my “turning my mountain around experience”. Caught the makings of pneumonia while still skiing and almost died on my return. Lung xrays showed that my auto-immune disease was active in my lungs. Next stop 7 weeks of chemo. Kept my hair. Went skiing again that but broke foot Christmas 2014 just walking along. The chemo has affected my memory and took away all sense of time. I have improved somewhat but have been waiting to have a neurophysc assessment for about 18 months, which I’m finally having in a week.
    I have enjoyed reading 2 books by Dr Norman Doidge: “The Brain that Changes Itself” and “The Brain’s Way of Healing”. I heard him speak and met him at the Sydney Writer’s Festival last year. As exciting as it was, it was also incredibly frustrating as like you I have an incredible story of overcoming the odds and these @#$% people got up to the mic and there I was living confirmation o his theories. I have been meaning to write to him nbut felt so disillusioned after that. He is quite inundated. My neurologist is absolutely amazed that I can play the violin and I know it has helped me to focus and “hear” better. I play in an ensemble and can now listen in for the others to know when to come in. I’m sure you can appreciate what a breakthrough this is.
    Take care, Nick. You are such an inspiration and part of a unique club…the neuro ward survivors club. We defintiely deserve a gold medal!
    Love and best wishes,
    Rowena

    Liked by 4 people

    • I have SO MUCH to say to this! I will need some time to do this comment justice with a substantial reply, but until then you may be interested to read this post: https://nickverron.com/2015/11/22/possum-ergo-facit-i-can-therefore-i-do/

      Like

    • Hello! Yes, I can relate to a lot of what you were saying. I was 25 too when my life suddenly took a turn for the worse. Or the better, it depends how you look at it! I have learned so much about myself and the world, and wouldn’t change a thing. I thought I had only been in jail for a short period of time after my injury, but have made my home a “self-imposed jail”, again a product of how you look at it-“it” being the world in this case.

      I find it very hard to carry on to the end of a book. Although I started reading the amazing writings of Norman Doidge, “The Brain That Changes Itself”, I must confess I did not finish it. This is a shame as the little I did read, had a life changing effect! It doesn’t make sense that I have since managed to write a book. Oh well, I have come to realise that I am paradoxical lol. From your experience, which is the better book? Or are they just different?

      In terms of what you’ve been through, I find you learn the deepest and most meaningful lessons in times of adversity. Your adversity sound like it couldn’t be a great deal more intense. Therefore, you will quite likely have learned some profound truths. To be able to use those to help others would make something good come from all the bad 🙂

      Liked by 2 people

  13. Hi Nick,
    I just wanted to share two pieces I’ve written about living with my issues. They relate more to the auto-immune disease than the neuro stuff but perhaps you’ll relate: https://beyondtheflow.wordpress.com/2016/01/27/poem-a-modern-day-hero/
    https://beyondtheflow.wordpress.com/2016/01/22/forgiving-the-unforgivable/
    Best wishes,
    Rowena

    Liked by 1 person

  14. WOW Nick… Awesome journey of a human being… Such inspiration and zeal for life. It’s amazing how you got up and outshine yourself totally. bravo.

    Like

  15. This is such an inspirational story. Not many people could do what you’ve done.

    Liked by 2 people

  16. Hi Nick, I found you via the Blogger’s Bash Awards. Initially I came to congratulate you on the award but after reading about you I forgot that’s what I stopped by for. You have defied all of the odds with your determination and persistence. They say that children are resilient but I think part of it is that kids haven’t learned to limit themselves or accept impossibility. It seems like you found your inner child that wouldn’t let the adults (doctors etc) impose their reality on you. Wishing you nothing but the best and that your story may be heard by many because it will no doubt inspire and encourage those that come across it. Sending you lots of light and love!

    Niki

    Liked by 2 people

    • Hey Niki! You’re too kind. I wholeheartedly agree with you in that many impossibilities are self-imposed, largely down to what you are told should and shouldn’t be. Your theory about seeing the world as a child really explains my comment which I have referred to on many an occasion. It is, “Since my attack, it’s like seeing the world through child’s eyes.”
      Thanks again for your kind words 🙂

      Liked by 2 people

  17. A Mother of All Trades

    Dude you are amazing!! I’m so sorry about your son, I know more than anyone how hard that is. But without even knowing you I’m proud of you. You are hear for a great purpose and you have given me hope where I once was feeling hopeless You are a true inspiration.

    Liked by 2 people

  18. Hi Nick, wow, what an amazing story! You’re strong, courageous, and refuse to give up. I’m happy to connect with you! I look forward to reading more posts. Take care, Jenny

    Liked by 1 person

  19. You are amazing I am so impressed with your tenacity and determination! I thought I had it bad after I had broken my back twice in ten years, second time necessitating three operations and a lot of work and denomination. You knock my efforts into a cocked hat! Yes you are legend and have achieved so much! God bless you and keep you well . May you just keep getting better and better. No wander your Mum is so proud of you!! xxxxx

    Liked by 2 people

  20. Hi Nick I have read the blog post on your Mom Blog “The Change is Near” ! That’s great to know that you’re going to face big changes in your life and going to travel around the world! I wish you all the best in your life in the hope that you keep this Blog! 😉 Carolina

    Liked by 2 people

  21. Hi Nick, seems your mum’s been at it again and send another blogger your way ;). We have been following each others blogs for a while now and appear to have a few interests in common.
    When l posted my latest post last night, about my new qualification as an adaptive ski instructor, she immediately related to it and we got a bit of a dialog going about you and your blog after l recommended Norman Doidge’s book that l am currently reading. (I know now, you already got it) She was not wrong and your blog did impress me very much!

    l loved your openness about it all and what happened to you is an incredible journey you would not wish upon your worst enemy! But you had no choice but to take the lemons and find a way to make lemonade. Well, it is a very special blend you made, listening to your own heart, refusing to let the ‘nay-sayers’ get you down. Love that attitude! Big bow of respect for you!

    You are a true inspiration for others in similar shoes and people like me with a keen interest in the healing capacities of our body and brain as well as an intense curiosity for possibilities that commonly are not (yet) considered.
    The ripple effects of your blog cannot be underestimated!

    I look forward to reading about your next adventure and/or achievement 🙂

    PS I believe that with patience eventually ‘karma’ will get you back in touch with your very cute son. (sorry that it ‘sucks’ right now, but best not to focus too much on that and look for and appreciate what does NOT suck)

    Liked by 2 people

  22. You’re a kick-ass of a fellow if I ever met one. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  23. An amazing story. Well done to you in overcoming so many obstacles. Very sad to hear that these sorts of dreadful things happen in the UK.

    Liked by 2 people

  24. I have a son who is in
    one of our armed service special forces. He has completed two tours in Afghanistan and three in Iraq. I consider him a real hero. You rate right up there with him. What you have gone through is simply amazing.

    Like

  25. Nick, you have to be the most inspirational … humble … selfless person I have ever come across. To remain so, so positive after all you’ve been through is simply … incredible! I love your spirit and your strength of mind. I’m sat here hoping and wishing and praying that some kind of karma can rebalance itself and bring you an abundance of love, joy and happiness. Deb x

    Like

    • There have been some very dark moments throughout, but positivity had prevailed! Thanks for your very kind words. I was looking for the love, joy and happiness and have finally realised it was within me the whole time 🙂

      Like

  26. There’s little more I can say that hasn’t already been said. I came by as your name popped up on another blog post your Mum was commenting on and it got me curious. Glad I did. It seems to me that the more you were told you couldn’t you decided you COULD and kicked ass! Neuroplasticity’s awesome living proof. Wishing you every blessing under the sun, including first and foremost, a reconnection to your son.

    Like

    • That’s a very kind of you. Yes, it certainly did wonders in motivating me where I was told it couldn’t be done. Neuroplasticity’s unexpected and amazing results shows medical science how very little they know about the human brain

      Liked by 1 person

      • Neuroplasticity is amazing! The opening up of new neural pathways has led to the most stunning recoveries of extremely severe and at times life threatening conditions.

        Like

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