Helmet saved my life says cyclist

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A cyclist who suffered serious brain injuries when she was knocked down on a crossing believes her cycle helmet saved her life.

Fifty-nine-year-old mother and grandmother Linda Groomes spent two years in hospital after being knocked down while pushing her bike across the crossing in Eastbourne Road at the junction with Church Street in September 2008.

She spoke out in the aftermath of Road Safety Week, to encourage people to wear cycle helmets and help people realise the legacy of a car crash and the lifelong impact it can have on an individual and a family.

Linda always wore high visibility clothing, adhered to road safety and wore a cycle helmet, which she believes saved her life.

She suffered several broken bones and a brain injury and four years later is living a semi-independent life but the legacy of her injuries will remain for life.

She will never again be able to ride her beloved bicycle nor return to the work as a carer she enjoyed so much.

She had to move house as her flat was on the second floor and there was no lift: she is now living in a first floor flat with a lift and is hoping to move again soon into a more comfortable bungalow.

Linda is mobile now and walks with the aid of a walker: occasionally she needs to use a wheelchair, cannot manage her temper or tears, is easily upset and distressed and becomes disorientated.

Linda’s future care is secure now that she has received compensation for her injuries but as she becomes older, she will need additional care and help and her daughter Trisha is relieved that the funds are there for Linda to draw upon.

A spokesperson for the National Brain Injury Group said, “Brain injury cases often take years to resolve and the life-long legacy of living with a brain injury can only be fully appreciated by solicitors who work in this specialist field.

“Linda’s solicitor, Francis Lacy-Scott of asb aspire, worked tirelessly to ensure interim funds were released to enable her to return home and live there in a degree of comfort while the final compensation package secured her future care.

“While this may be reassuring, there is no doubt that a split second of dangerous/reckless driving damaged Linda’s life and relationships beyond repair.

“Another key aspect of her brain injury is that Linda lacks spatial awareness – she can literally become stuck and disoriented very quickly. Something as straightforward as walking down a shopping aisle can be fraught with difficulty and she has to be minded when out and about to avoid mishaps.”