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Sefton brain injury survivor who is 'beacon of hope' nominated for national award Main Image

Sefton brain injury survivor who is 'beacon of hope' nominated for national award

Tue 07 Nov 2023

A Sefton man is a finalist for a prestigious award from UK charity Headway – the brain injury association.

David Jenkins, 40, a brain injury survivor, has been nominated for his incredible attitude and achievements since being left with life-changing injuries.

In April 2014, David was a wealth management professional who had just secured a significant promotion when he was hit by a speeding vehicle. The incident resulted in horrendous injuries, including a life-threatening brain injury and multiple fractures. David was also blinded in one eye.

His wife Louise and their children, Oliver, then aged six and Imogen, aged 1, were told to expect the worst. 

Still, despite his devastating prognosis, David eventually emerged from his coma to the utter disbelief of the hospital staff and the overwhelming joy of his family. However, a long and challenging road lay ahead.

"The huge frustration of not living life as you did before and the lack of understanding by people is a huge thing to try and overcome and was something I never thought I could,"

said David.

"That was until I met the people at my local brain injury charity Headway Sefton. 

The help and support I receive from the people there is invaluable. Their understanding and ability to signpost me to further support have been priceless. I have a new lease of life since I started with them, and they have supported my family, too.

I have gone from being very quiet, shy, and nervous when meeting new people to someone who's happy to speak to anyone in the group. I now feel comfortable sharing ideas and tips that have helped me in my recovery with other brain injury survivors, too." 

Because of his incredible progress over the years, David is now one of just three finalists for the Alex Richardson Achiever of the Year Award.

The accolade, sponsored by Slater & Gordon, will be presented by Headway – the brain injury association, at its glittering awards ceremony on December 8 at The Landmark London hotel.

David said: "To find out I was a finalist for the Headway annual awards was amazing news for me. I felt a huge sense of pride, and it was a real honour for me. It was also humbling for me to be recognised at a national level, as my voluntary work seems natural to me.

In March 2017, I established Headway Sefton's K.I.T Group (Keep in Touch). This is a social group that I've created outside of the main groups' monthly meetings. 

We have a good understanding of the challenges we all face and help each other. Following our brain injuries, we have all felt the complete loss of confidence, the self-doubt and become withdrawn from our friends. The K.I.T Group works together to get as much back out of life as possible. Even if we can't get everything back, I want to help us enjoy our 'new' version of ourselves!

The improvements in peoples' lives that I see every week gives me huge satisfaction. I now feel like I am positively impacting people's lives."

Carol Hopwood and Cathy Johnston from Headway Sefton nominated David for the Headway award. They said: "David lost all he had worked for when he was run over and has worked so hard to give back to the brain injury community. He has helped the branch grow and thrive and offers unwavering support to others who stumble through our door bewildered.  

It also can't go unmentioned that his lovely wife Louise and their children have been by his side throughout his journey. 

David didn't give up. He is a friend who does not judge, listens, and connects with people when at their lowest and most frightened. He is one of the funniest, most positive people at Headway Sefton. He really is a beacon of hope for others at the start of their journey. We are very lucky to have him."

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Headway - the brain injury association is registered with the Charity Commission for England and Wales (Charity no. 1025852) and the Office of the Scottish Regulator (Charity no. SC 039992). Headway is a company limited by guarantee, registered in England no. 2346893.

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