Wig out for head in­jury sur­vivors


AFORMER busi­ness­man liv­ing with se­vere head in­juries af­ter a car smash is call­ing on res­i­dents to join in a mad hair day to sup­port head in­jury sur­vivors.

John Stanger, 58, from Lake­lands Close in Mac­cles­field, was the vic­tim of a head-on car col­li­sion in 2003.

The crash put him in in­ten­sive care for 10 days and in an in­duced coma and the fa­ther-of-two had to over­come paral­y­sis on the left side of his body and learn to walk and eat again.

The for­mer MD for a Dan­ish tex­tile com­pany, who trav­elled the world with his job, was also left with di­min­ished men­tal pro­cess­ing skills, and epi- lepsy. Now he is call­ing on busi­nesses, groups, schools and col­leges to go mad with their hair on Fri­day, May 13, for the Ac­tion for Brain In­jury Aware­ness Week, or­gan­ised by char­ity Head­way.

John, a vol­un­teer for the char­ity Head In­jury Peo­ple (HIP) in Cheshire, is join­ing mem­bers in ask­ing every­one to wear a wacky wig or silly hair­style for a day, to sup­port head in­jury sur­vivors, their car­ers, friends and fam­ily.

John said: “We’re all look­ing for­ward to the day, it’s great fun.

“We hope as many peo­ple as pos­si­ble will get in­volved and spread the mes­sage about brain in­jury and how com­mon it is. You can’t un­der­es­ti­mate the dif­fer­ence dona­tions make to HIP mem­bers. Fac­ing the rest of your life with a head in­jury is fright­en­ing and lonely. The symp­toms are com­pli­cated and of­ten change with time.

“But HIP is like one big fam­ily. We’re all in the same boat and un­der­stand the feel­ings and emo­tions.

“The group re­ally makes a dif­fer­ence.”

John and his fam­ily are still learn­ing to cope with his neu­ro­log­i­cal symp­toms but it has not stopped him from wind­surf­ing and tak­ing up karate and pho­tog­ra­phy.

Clare Emer­ton, HIP fundraiser and co­or­di­na­tor, said: “A brain in­jury can show no phys­i­cal signs but be­hind the mask of ‘nor­mal­ity’ a per­son, and their fam­ily and friends, can strug­gle to cope with dev­as­tat­ing neu­ro­log­i­cal symp­toms.

“We need to get peo­ple talk­ing about head in­juries and a wacky hair­style is one way to do it!” This year’s Mad Hair Day is sup­ported by solic­i­tors, Bir­chall Black­burn Law.

To reg­is­ter your team and get your pack see hip cheshire. org.uk.

For sup­port call 07900 158 166 or see hip­incheshire.org.uk.

●● First on the left, John Stanger with Mac­cles­field mem­bers of HIP in Cheshire, who are or­gan­is­ing a Mad Hair Day to sup­port brain in­jury sur­vivors

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