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More investment needed for head injury support

Posted in: Head & Brain Injuries Sporting Injuries 

After a student from Monmouthshire was left paralysed following an injury playing rugby, a brain charity has called for more to be done within head injury support services. 19-year-old Angus Swanson was in a coma for three weeks after he collapsed at the side of the pitch during a university game against King’s College in London. He was told by doctors that he would never be able to play rugby again.

Brain injury charity Headway has called for a surge of investment in support services for those that have suffered a head injury. The Welsh Government, however, argued that it has already increased funding over the last two years. Headway responded by saying that the rise in funding was not proportional to the increased number of hospital admissions for acute brain injuries, which have increased by 8% since 2001.

‘He has learned to walk again’

Angus Swanson is one of those that depends on these services. When he first suffered the head injury, doctors informed him that he would never regain his mobility. However, with support from neurosurgeons and intense physiotherapy, he has learned to walk again. Where he is no longer able to play rugby, he has turned to coaching instead.

Julie Smith, from Headway in Cardiff, believes that more could still be done to help those like Angus, she said: “Medical and surgical services have improved hugely over the past 20 years, but, unfortunately, the rehabilitation element has not been in step with that”.

A Welsh Government spokesperson said that a lot was being done within the health service, including a £1m investment into a neurological delivery plan to support patients that require rehabilitation.

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