Kesgrave/Alton Water: Brain injury victim takes on Great East Swim this weekend for third time
A man who survived a brain injury after being hit by a car is set to take on the Great East Swim for the third time.
Martin Hawkins, 49, from Kesgrave, will swim one mile in the event at Alton Water on Saturday in aid five charities: Headway, Parkinson’s UK (Ipswich branch), the Martlesham Christian Fellowship, the Telecoms Eastern European Challenge and Avocet.
In 1989, he suffered a serious head injury after being hit by a car and was in a coma for two months in Ipswich Hospital.
He said: “After my accident I had a very low chance of ever waking up. Luckily, I unexpectedly came out of the coma and made a rapid recovery. However, I suffered 100% memory loss and had to be re-introduced to my family and friends.”
After leaving hospital, Mr Hawkins was transferred to Addenbrooke’s Hospital, Cambridge, where he learnt to read, write and speak again and had physiotherapy which helped him to walk by myself, without the need of a wheelchair.
Mr Hawkins added: “Shortly after being discharged from Addenbrooke’s, I found out about Headway in Colchester.
“I started going to Headway two days a week and took part in a number of sports activities including handicapped swimming sessions Colchester Leisure World. I also got involved with a disabled swimming club called Avocet at Kingfisher Leisure Centre in Sudbury. “Since then I have taken part in various sponsored swims for Colchester Headway such as the Colchester Fire Swim and competed in many swimming galas for Avocet run by the National Association of Swimming Clubs for the Handicapped.”
When Ipswich Headway opened in 2000, he became involved in their swimming sessions at Crown Pools and took part in the very first Great East Swim in 2009 and again in 2011.
He added: “I look forward to raising a lot of money for my chosen charities and showing that a brain injury doesn’t stop you achieving your goals or living your life to the full.”