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Ben says thanks for getting his life back
THE last time Tracey Wagon sat in Southampton’s neuro intensive care waiting room she had been told her son Ben was unlikely to survive from catastrophic head injuries he suffered in a car accident that claimed the life of his girlfriend.
Tracey spent the next two weeks camped out in that room in the hope he would prove doctors wrong.
And he did.
Her 24-year-old son is sat beside her in that same waiting room as he prepared to meet the doctors and nurses who brought him back from the brink almost exactly a year ago.
They are at Southampton General Hospital’s neuro unit together for the first time since Ben, a Royal Navy helicopter engineer, was transferred to the Headley Court facility for injured service men and women where he has been receiving intensive rehabilitation.
In that year he had relearned to walk and talk and now he has come to say thank you to the medical team who helped put him on that journey.
“Give us a hug,” is the first thing head injury specialist nurse Miranda Gardner says as she rounds the corner to greet Ben who admits he has little memory of the team at Southampton where he was brought round from the coma he was in.
Dr John Hell who was in charge of Ben’s care while he was at the unit following the accident on October 23 last year in which his 21-year-old girlfriend Justine Emblin-Butler died.
She was driving their Audi A3 when she swerved to avoid an already dead badger on the A36.
Despite the efforts of the Air Ambulance team nothing could be done to save her.
Dr Hell said: “It became a matter of personal pride for those of us who were involved in Ben’s care to get him back to life. It is just great to see him looking so well.”
Ben, who has been told he will be medically discharged from the Navy and is now undertaking work placements to get him into other employment, said: “It is thanks to them that I am here today. It is a chance to say thank you.”
Tracey added: “We just can’t thank them enough for all they did.”
TRACEY along with Justine’s family are now preparing for a huge fundraising event at St Mary’s Stadium in a bid to raise £10,000 for the unit and the air ambulance.
Justine’s 12-year-old sister Holly has also made and produced a video calling on the public’s support for the event and the charity set up in her sister and Ben’s name.
The evening will consist of an auction with prizes donated by local and national businesses, a raffle and a silent auction. There will be other fun fundraising events during the evening, which is being hosted by Homes Under the Hammer auctioneer Russell Hartnell Parke.
Tickets, priced at £45 or £450 for a table of ten, have just become available for the event on November 9. To book contact 07966101726 or log on to justineandben.co.uk.