Brain injury support group stems from Middlesbrough teen’s miracle recovery


A young man who sustained a life-threatening brain injury in a climbing fall has inspired a new support group. When he was 16, Callum Rock suffered serious head and multiple trauma injuries after plunging more than 60ft from a cliff in Guisborough Woods. The Great North Air Ambulance Service (GNAAS) played a crucial role in Callum’s rescue as his life hung in the balance. GNAAS medic, Simon Le Clerc, an army doctor with experience working in Afghan battlefields, anaesthetised him at the scene before they were flown to James Cook University Hospital in Middlesbrough. Surgeons there battled for 12 hours to save Callum and he went on to make a remarkable recovery thanks to the specialist trauma care he received. Six years on, Callum is entering his second semester at York St John University studying physiotherapy – something thought impossible not so long ago. Now, a charity set up by his mum Jan, is starting a free support group for parents of young people who have survived a brain injury. Jan hopes BIG (Brain Injury Group) for Parents will give the advice and support needed to families affected by childhood brain injury. She said: “Historically, children and young people with brain injuries did not survive but because of medical advances and the creation of specialist paediatric intensive care units, today more children are surviving. “However the community support they need afterwards to help them to recover has not evolved, making life extremely difficult for parents and children.” The first meeting of BIG for Parents is in the Acklam Green Centre tonight (January 27) from 6pm to 8pm. The charity is also looking for more volunteers to help it deliver its aims.

A young man who sustained a life-threatening brain injury in a climbing fall has inspired a new support group.

When he was 16, Callum Rock suffered serious head and multiple trauma injuries after plunging more than 60ft from a cliff in Guisborough Woods.

The Great North Air Ambulance Service (GNAAS) played a crucial role in Callum’s rescue as his life hung in the balance.

GNAAS medic, Simon Le Clerc, an army doctor with experience working in Afghan battlefields, anaesthetised him at the scene before they were flown to James Cook University Hospital in Middlesbrough.

Surgeons there battled for 12 hours to save Callum and he went on to make a remarkable recovery thanks to the specialist trauma care he received.

Six years on, Callum is entering his second semester at York St John University studying physiotherapy – something thought impossible not so long ago.

Now, a charity set up by his mum Jan, is starting a free support group for parents of young people who have survived a brain injury.

Jan hopes BIG (Brain Injury Group) for Parents will give the advice and support needed to families affected by childhood brain injury.

She said: “Historically, children and young people with brain injuries did not survive but because of medical advances and the creation of specialist paediatric intensive care units, today more children are surviving.

“However the community support they need afterwards to help them to recover has not evolved, making life extremely difficult for parents and children.”

The first meeting of BIG for Parents is in the Acklam Green Centre tonight (January 27) from 6pm to 8pm.

The charity is also looking for more volunteers to help it deliver its aims. For more information, call Jan on 01642-989116 or visit www.matrixneurological.org.uk

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