Life can be unpredictable, and for Iain Millar, the twists and turns it took were more challenging than he ever anticipated.
Before his world turned upside down, Iain was a talented chef working in Cornwall alongside the best-known culinary names. But fate had a different plan for him, and an unexpected brain injury changed the course of his life forever.
Iain's passion for golf was always a constant in his life, but it took on a whole new meaning after the brain injury that altered everything. It was during a rugby match in 2013 when he sustained a Diffuse Axonal Brain Injury. As he tackled an opponent, his head hit the ground with force, leaving him with devastating consequences.
However, the roots of this injury can be traced back to 2005, when he experienced multiple concussions while playing rugby. At that time, concussions were often brushed off as a norm, an acceptable risk in the game, and Iain didn't want to let his team down. Week after week, he pushed through dizziness and headaches to continue playing, putting the team's needs before his own.
Despite his unwavering dedication, the impact of those repeated head injuries eventually caught up with him. Iain found himself battling a deep and dark depression, feeling like a burden to his family. The injury had changed him, and he struggled to make sense of the new reality he faced.
But amidst the darkness, Iain's life took a glimmer of hope. With therapy and support, he started to gain a better understanding of his disability and learned to cope with the challenges it presented. It was during this journey of recovery that golf emerged as a beacon of light. The sport that had been a hobby now became a lifeline, providing renewed purpose and meaning to his days.
Although Iain was a 7 handicapper before his injury, he had to start at the beginning again as he was initially unable to raise his arm past 15 degrees, so just being able to swing a golf club felt like a massive challenge at the time. This, together with issues relating to balance, sensory overload and fatigue, represented a constant challenge.
But Iain's determination and love for golf led him to the European Disabled Golf Association (EDGA) tour. This community of passionate individuals, each with their unique stories of resilience, became a second family for Iain. As he stepped onto the golf course, he found a sense of belonging and camaraderie that he thought he had lost forever.
In 2022, Iain achieved a remarkable feat, winning the Golf Carts Europe Order of Merit. This triumph was a testament to his unwavering perseverance and determination.
Overall, Iain counts himself lucky
I'm walking and talking and can play golf. People don't realise how life-changing brain injury can be. It doesn't just change the way you live; it changes the person you are.
Now, Iain happily shares his story and love for golf, and together with team members from the EDGA tour, Iain is participating in Headway, the brain injury association's charity golf day at The Mere on the 14th of September.
Iain is kindly sponsored by Pro Quip, Titleist, Foot Joy and Takomo Golf, without their unwavering support, he would be unable to compete on the EDGA tour.
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