A YOUNG woman who suffered a serious brain injury in a road accident says she hopes her fight to recover can inspire others going through similar ordeals.
Jade Denton, 21, spoke out to coincide with Action for Brain Injury week, which runs until tomorrow.
Miss Denton, from Gleadless in Sheffield, was a front-seat passenger when the car she was travelling in lost control, spinning and colliding with an oncoming vehicle in Gleadless Road on September 22, 2011.
The passenger side of the car took the brunt of the collision and she suffered a severe brain injury; fractures to her ribs, spine, collarbone, and pelvis; as well as a ruptured spleen and broken teeth.
Miss Denton underwent emergency surgery at the city’s Northern General Hospital followed by two months of inpatient rehabilitation including speech and language therapy, physiotherapy and occupational therapy, before she was finally allowed home that November.
She said: “The crash changed my life forever and it’s been a really frustrating process trying to get back on track.
“I have problems with my memory and speech, but the rehabilitation programme has been fantastic and I’ve made great progress.
“My rehabilitation assistant is great and helps me do things such as managing my budget and going to exercise classes, which would be very difficult on my own.
“The occupational therapy I have been getting for the past nine months has also really helped me make progress too, including starting back at work, which was very important to me.
“I hope my experience shows other people who are either going through something similar themselves, or who has a friend or relative who has suffered a brain injury, that there’s light at the end of the tunnel.”
Miss Denton, who was working as a catering assistant at Sheffield’s English Institute of Sport at the time of the crash, added: “Headway’s Action for Brain Injury Week is so important because it shows what people like me are going through and how crucial it is to get quick access to the right rehabilitation.”
Lawyers at the Irwin Mitchell firm issued court proceedings against the driver’s insurer, securing a “substantial” interim payment so that Miss Denton could access a full private rehabilitation and care package.
It is understood that the driver’s insurers have now admitted liability in full. The law firm says it is “working with experts to assess Jade’s future needs in terms of treatment and rehabilitation”.
Stacy Gee, who is representing Miss Denton, said: “She often feels frustrated about the impact the crash has had on her life but the way she has tackled her recovery and rehabilitation has been really inspiring.”