AN ILMINSTER man who suffered a life-changing brain injury after a tragic car crash has thanked the public after they raised more than £10,000 to help him get treatment.
Will Mieville-Hawkins’ NHS treatment was stopped in March and members of the public have since rallied round to raise thousands of pounds to help, including a stranger who ran in the Taunton Marathon for him.
Will, 26, of Station Road, was involved in a car crash on A303 in April 2016 in which he sustained a life-changing brain injury.
He said: “I suffered a big brain injury but I am not sure of the actual details. It left me unable to walk and unable to use one of my arms.”
Will was in a coma for a month and also lost his memory from the crash until July. The latest fundraiser to support Will is Bonnie Bow-Thompson of Bradford on Tone, who ran the Taunton Half-Marathon on April 2, raising more than £500 to help Will pay for his latest treatment.
“I didn’t know her at all and I had never met her before,” Will said. “I felt incredibly overwhelmed when I found out. I met her for the first time in Bradford on Tone after the marathon. It (£500) is the biggest individual donation to my treatment yet, and she’s still at school, unlike everyone else who’s brilliantly donated.
“I have been getting brilliant treatment, including occupational therapy, from the NHS. I have been having psychological help and we are moving on to getting a counsellor.
“The NHS support stopped last week but I still need counselling and a case manager.
“Bonnie raised more than £500 and together we have raise more than £10,000. That is family and friends. We did a charity cycle ride for 225 miles in February. It was the distance from here to Southampton Hospital and Musgrove Park Hospital in Taunton to Bristol.
“Everyone did as much as they could in an hour and we raised £227.
“To my team from the NHS I want to say a massive thank you because they have been absolutely unbelievable. They work out of South Petherton Hospital.”
Will, who trained as a teacher before his crash and remains optimistic of a return to the classroom, added: “I want to thank my family because they have been incredible, and I want to give Bonnie a massive thank you.
“Just incredible to do this for anyone let alone a complete stranger. It’s beyond belief really.
“It inspires me, like young people always have.
“It’s a clear demonstration of the reason I love them so much. This motivates me even further to return to the classroom.”
Bonnie, 17, who has so far raised £576, said: “Initially I decided that if I was going to run the half-marathon I would do it for charity and take the opportunity to raise some money for a good cause.
“As a family we strongly support the MS charity and over the years we have raised a lot of money for it. Will’s case bought me to tears, I felt like this being a very personal case and one close to my family was an even more motivating cause.
“Doing the actual marathon was a killer. I massively surprised myself by running the first 9.5 miles, after that I gave in to my legs and walked up the two hills. I ached for days but it was definitely worth it. I am so glad to have raised the money I have for Will.”
You can follow Will’s progress on his blog at mybraininjuryrecoveryblog.wordpress.com.
You can donate to Will's fund at justgiving.com/crowdfunding/william-mieville-hawkins.