Call for Head Injuries unit for teenagers in Wales

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In August 2009 16 year old Alex Hughes from Radyr, Cardiff sustained severe injuries when he was attacked and hit over the head with a bottle whilst on a night out on holiday in Majorca.

The teenager was left in a coma on the island and his distraught parents and the friends he was holidaying with willed him to pull through.

It was not until September, when Alex had been flown home to Cardiff, that he regained consciousness at the University Hospital of Wales in Cardiff. Since his transfer to Rookwood Hospital his rehabilitation has been slow but steady. Alex has regained much of his speech though he still cannot walk.

However, Rookwood caters mainly for the elderly and Alex's mum Helen is now calling for a Unit to be specifically set up in Wales for young people and teenagers with brain injuries.

She says: "Alex is surrounded by people mostly in their 70s and 80s. They can often be crying, screaming or swearing loudly which is quite intimidating for someone his age."

"There's nothing in Wales for someone of his age. I'd love to see a Unit – even if it was a small one – where teenagers could be together and feel comfortable."

"There are a few other teenagers in Rockwood and I really think it would help them."

"I've spoken to the nurses and they say it's an ongoing problem and it would be a dream to do something about it."

Another Cardiff family have even felt forced to raise money for 13 year old Kyle Beere to be treated in England for a brain haemorrhage because of the lack of rehabilitation services in Wales.

Ricki James, Assistant Solicitor at Simpson Millar LLP says: "There is undoubtedly a shortage of facilities and units available in Wales for teenagers who have suffered head injury and this issue needs to be addressed by the Welsh Assembly. However, Headway – the head injury association - continues to provide vital support and resources to brain injury survivors, their families and carers across Wales through a number of Headway Branches. Cardiff Headway also runs a day centre from Rookwood Hospital."

The Cardiff office of Simpson Millar LLP Solicitors specialises in Catastrophic Injury and Personal Injury compensation claims. We are also devoted supporters of Headway, the charity for people affected by brain injury.

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