Colin Hastings was 25 at the time and had been enjoying a skiing holiday with his friends in Austria. After his injury, Colin spent over three months in hospital, drifting in and out of a coma while his late father kept vigil by his bedside.
Once Colin had regained consciousness, doctors realised that a brain haemorrhage had caused him to lose most of his speech, affected his movement, and damaged his vision. During this time, unable to speak well enough to communicate with the people around him, Colin felt isolated and wondered if his life could ever be the same again.
Over the next few years, Colin underwent a gruelling rehabilitation programme and spent time with a range of therapists to help him try to relearn the skills he had lost, like his speech, walking and writing.
Colin has made huge progress with his recovery in the years since his accident, he has learned to talk again, is able to walk and has learned to write with his left hand. But despite all of this progress over all of these years, Colin is still facing challenges.
Colin’s shakiness and balance problems mean that he still has to walk with a stick and he has been left with slight dyslexia (hidden word blindness), which means he can’t write as well as he used to, he finds it hard to decipher certain words and struggles to complete newspaper puzzles.
Colin has been attending Headway Devon’s day centres for a few years. Although he first attended the Headway centre in Exeter, he now attends the centre in Exmouth every week. As well as taking part in group activities and doing puzzles, one of Colin’s favourite activities is photography as he finds it calming and relaxing: “I recently brought a new digital camera; I enjoy taking pictures of the beach and nature as well as friends who go to Headway.”