A mum has praised the NHS staff that looked after her 19-year-old son who suffered a traumatic brain injury following a car crash.

Dan Lacey, 19, was driving near his family home in the New Forest on a wet and windy night on December 28, 2022, when his car hit a patch of standing water.

The car flipped 360 degrees before colliding with some trees.

Following the incident, emergency services transported Dan to Southampton General Hospital, where he was diagnosed with a traumatic brain injury.

The 19-year-old B&Q worker was in a five-week coma in the hospital’s Neuro Intensive Care Unit, spending a total of five months at the hospital.

One year on from the accident – on Thursday, December 28, 2023 – Dan, along with his mum Emma, visited the NHS staff who looked after him, presenting them with homemade sweet and savoury treats.

Emma, 54, told the Echo: “I’m an eternal optimist but I’d be lying if I said it wasn’t a difficult time following the accident.

“Two police officers knocked on our door in the middle of the night and you fear the worst, but they were wonderful and really supported us, along with the NHS staff, we are so lucky to have them.

"Their work is awe-inspiring.”

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Daily Echo: Dan Lacey

Emma also gifted hospital staff bath bombs as an additional gift, as they held a particularly special meaning.

She explained: “When Dan was in the hospital, we could only spend an hour with him a day.

“So, to make up the time, myself and my husband Darren would make cakes to bring in, as well as buying cosmetic items from Lush, and we’d massage Dan’s hands and feet.

"He became known as the ‘Lush Boy’ as the staff were always complimenting that he smelled so good!

“So, when I went into Lush this time around – the staff remembered that I’d go shopping in there before going to the hospital – and with one quick call to the manager, they gave us our items for free with a few added extras. It was unbelievably kind of them.”

Following his prolonged stay in hospital, Dan is back home with his family and back working at B&Q - but does suffer with short term memory loss as a result of the accident.

Emma added: “Dan recently went to Edinburgh for a weekend away on his own to see how he coped and he’s doing well.

“He’s hoping of travelling a little bit more before possibly going to university in 2025.

“To have him as he is one year on from the accident is nothing short of a miracle.”