A person we support recovering from a serious traumatic brain injury, and who has only recently learned to walk again, has raised more than £5,000 after completing a sponsored walk.
Dorset businessman Grant Stewkesbury wanted to raise the money to thank two of the organisations he credits with saving his life, setting him on the road to recovery and also helping others recovering from a brain injury.
The 33-year-old father-of-two was injured following an accident in his garden in the summer of last year. Having sustained significant head injuries, he was rushed by the Dorset Air Ambulance to Southampton Hospital. Grant was then transferred to Dorchester Hospital and then later to Poole Hospital where he was treated by the acquired brain injury specialist Portland Ward. Following the accident, he experienced significant mobility difficulties including losing the use of his right arm and was not able to walk.
After a time in the hospital, Grant moved to Eilat, an Accomplish residential home which specialises in supporting people with brain injuries and helping them with their rehabilitation.
When he first arrived at the home Grant was unable to walk unaided and used a wheelchair. Since then, and working closely with the team at Eilat alongside therapeutic professionals from Hobbs Rehabilitation, he has made significant progress – including learning to walk again.
Grant decided he wanted to raise funds for both the Air Ambulance and Portland Ward and undertook a 1.6-mile sponsored walk ‘Pier to Pier’ from Bournemouth Pier to Boscombe Pier. He initially set a fundraising target of £500, a target which was quickly smashed and now stands at more than £5.5k raised.
He said: “Back in June 2022, I sustained a brain injury from a head trauma whilst working in my garden. This has greatly affected my mobility, and I have had to relearn how to walk and use my right arm.
“I want to give something back to those who saved my life with their quick response and actions, and those who have helped me with my recovery. Also, I would like to help those who are at the beginning of their brain injury recovery journey and help them proceed with the incredible help and support that I am receiving.
“Mine and my family’s life got turned upside down that day, and I continue to work hard towards my ongoing recovery with the support of therapists and skilled support staff.
“I’m so pleased I was able to complete the walk and would like to thank everyone who helped me achieve it, particularly the staff team at Eilat, and Hobbs for their fantastic physio and occupational therapy team, and everyone who has made my journey possible.”
Mikey Fuller, Deputy Manager at Eilat, said: “Grant has made remarkable progress since he arrived at Eilat and we’re delighted that he will be heading home very soon to continue his recovery there.
“It was an incredibly emotional moment for all of us as he crossed the finish line at the end of his walk. The other people we support here at Eilat as well as the staff team – many of whom had come along on their day off – were all there to cheer Grant on. It’s a wonderful achievement and there wasn’t a dry eye among any of us!”