A MAN who suffered a massive brain injury in a terrifying car crash is transforming his life thanks to plenty of sheer determination.
Simon Booth, from Thornton, was involved in a crash with a van laden with stones while driving near Marseille in France six years ago.
One of the huge rocks broke through Simon’s windscreen and hit him on the side of the head, leaving the 36-year-old with a massive brain injury and in a coma for 14 weeks, during which time doctors had to revive him twice.
His injury affects his speech, mobility and memory.
Although left in a wheelchair, Simon vowed he was going to defy the odds and walk once more.
Today, thanks to walking sessions at Kirkham Prison, private therapy at his home on Wharton Avenue and his own sheer determination, Simon is able to walk using just a walking stick and is serving as an inspiration, proving anything is possible if you try hard enough.
He said: “I have done what all good British men do, and carried on regardless. I have no choice.
“If I’d wanted to, I could have sat back and enjoyed the fruits of the benefits handed to me.
“But I’m not like that, and am not willing to be like that. In my past, I always worked and I worked hard. I have got myself into the habit of making my existence mean something.”
Simon said the prison service had been great, as well as therapist Jonathan Barratt, whom he sees every week for treatment.
Jonathan, a sports therapist from Layton Injury Clinic, said it was Simon’s sheer determination that was helping him walk again.
He added: “It’s slow and steady progress, but he has managed to reduce his dependency on walking aids.
“I’ve worked with people in the past who almost don’t want to get better, but Simon is 110 per cent focused on walking. When I first saw him he needed a frame, which he needed both arms to use, to be able to move around. Now he’s just using a walking stick.
“Whether he’ll ever being able to walk without some kind of aid, we’ll just keep working hard and wait and see.”
Simon said his walking and balancing had improved dramatically, as well as his fitness.
He added: “Mark my words, I will learn to walk again. I’m still learning to walk, but I’m getting very close now and then I’ll be able to change things in my life for myself.”