Crash left dad in coma ‘hell’

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An Ilkeston dad who suffered life-threatening head injuries and was left in a coma for six weeks when a sports car he was a passenger in smashed into a parked lorry has issued a plea for drivers to stay safe on the roads.

Simon Manchester, 30, suffered a brain injury, severe cuts to his head, a broken thigh bone and was knocked unconscious when the car he was travelling incollided with a parked lorry on the A610 near junction 26 of the M1 in December 2012.

He said: “I really don’t remember much from the accident at all.

“I remember telling the driver to slow down and I can recall seeing the hydraulics of the truck we were heading towards.

“My next memory is waking up in hospital weeks later.

“I am a very determined man and although they were providing a great service I just wanted to get out of the hospital and spend time with my fiancé and my daughter — they were all the motivation I needed.”

Following the smash Simon, an IT engineer, was rushed to the Queen’s Medical Centre in Nottingham for emergency surgery where it was discovered that he had a collapsed lung and was also suffering from severe internal bleeding.

He was put on life support and kept in a coma as he was suffering from pneumonia following the operation.

During this time Simon’s fiancé Michelle and daughterwere informed several times that ‘he may not make it’ and to be ‘prepared for the worst’.

Simon spent six weeks in intensive care before being transferred to Nottingham City Hospital to spend three weeks at the neuro-rehabilitation unit to help repair his memory and other cognitive difficulties he faced.

But now things are on the up and the couple are expecting their second child. Simon has also been able to return to his work.

But the accident is never far from their thoughts.

Simon added: “I still have a long way to go as I seek to fully recover but now my fiancé and family can continue to pull through this.

“I want to raise awareness of road safety and ask all drivers to be aware of the consequences of driving at speed.

“My family and I have been through hell and I can put my hand on my heart and say you really wouldn’t want to be in my position, so all drivers need to take care to prevent more accidents like this from happening.”

The man behind the wheel was convicted of careless driving, his licence was endorsed with penalty points and he was fined.

Simon has been helped by expert serious injury lawyers at Irwin Mitchell, who have secured him interim payments to cover loss of earnings and help him access the expert treatment he has required.