Brain in­jury vic­tim calls for changes to ben­e­fits

Evening Express (City Final) - - UK & Abroad -

AN Aberdeen cou­ple whose lives were torn apart fol­low­ing a car crash are back­ing a brain in­jury char­ity’s call to make changes to dis­abil­ity ben­e­fits.

Andy Irvine and part­ner Ch­eryl Main­land, pic­tured with their son Miller, be­lieve a “lack of un­der­stand­ing” of head in­juries can make trau­matic cir­cum­stances more stress­ful.

Mr Irvine was hit by a car while walk­ing home from a night out with friends in Aberdeen in 2015 and put in a coma.

He had suf­fered a bro­ken pelvis, bro­ken ribs, bruised lungs and a se­vere leg in­jury, but his most se­ri­ous in­jury was swelling and bleed­ing on the brain. When he came out of the coma three weeks later he had to re-learn ba­sic skills such as how to speak and how to walk up stairs. To­gether with Ch­eryl, he is now sup­port­ing brain in­jury char­ity Head­way’s Right First Time cam­paign, which is call­ing on the Govern­ment to make changes to dis­abil­ity ben­e­fits as­sess­ments – which they say fail a large num­ber of brain in­jury sur­vivors and their fam­i­lies.

Ms Main­land said a “lack of un­der­stand­ing” of head in­juries by the De­part­ment for Work and Pen­sions made the sit­u­a­tion more stress­ful.

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