Speedway star Sam to talk about his serious brain injury at conference
- Credit: Norris family
A teenage speedway starlet who suffered a life-threatening brain injury nearly two years ago is set to speak at a neurological conference next month.
Sam Norris, from Linton, near Haverhill, was riding for Mildenhall Fen Tigers when he crashed his 250cc bike while racing at the British Youth Championships in Glasgow in June 2019.
The then-15-year-old was on life support for two days and doctors feared he may not survive.
However, he was discharged from hospital and received a standing ovation from the crowd at Mildenhall on his return that August.
Sam, now 17, is still recovering from his injuries - but is planning to get back on a 250cc bike in June, when he competes in a Classic Grasstrack Club near Stansted.
On May 12, Sam and his mother Claire are set to speak at Headway Suffolk's Neuro Conference, which will be his first public speaking appearance.
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Other speakers at the conference include England Rugby World Cup winner Steve Thompson and Dawn Astle, daughter of former England footballer Jeff Astle.
Mrs Norris said she and her son will use the opportunity to emphasise how accidents can happen to anyone.
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She said: "Lockdown meant Sam could stay at home and this helped his fatigue.
"It’s still there, and if he was to have a grasstrack meeting at the weekend he would have to prepare for it the whole week rather than just the night before.
"What we want to emphasise at the conference is that sad things happen and it’s fighting for the support you need.
"Every case is different. Looks can be deceiving. It’s very much a hidden injury but you can still achieve, even if it’s in a different way."
Sam is now studying motor mechanics at Cambridge Regional College and continues to suffer with daily fatigue.
However, he is determined to not let his condition hold him back as he sets he sights on getting back on his bike.
Mrs Norris added: "Sam is frustrated at the moment. On the outside he wants to get back racing and be able to drive, but it’s the hidden things that frustrate.
"He feels cheated as he was doing very well and he sees what others are doing on social media and he wants to be there.
"But he’s passionate about getting back to where he was and he’s so motivated and driven to prove that."
Tickets to the conference, which will be held virtually, cost £20 and can be bought from Headway Suffolk's website.