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A burst tyre
It was an ordinary day on 30 January 2011; I got with my ordinary family into my ordinary car and went for an ordinary drive along an ordinary road. At around midday, things became anything but ordinary. A burst tyre threw the car off the road into a tree and my world changed. My wife was killed and I suffered, what I later learned was called, a traumatic brain injury (TBI).
With the next 3 weeks lost in post-traumatic amnesia, it has taken helpful staff and close reading of the many pages of notes to try to make sense of what happened to me.
My good luck began very soon after. A police officer was, by chance, very close to the scene and able to keep my airway open. Within 30 min I was attended by a doctor carried by the East Anglian Air Ambulance. I had sustained a severe head injury with my Glasgow Coma Scale score established as 3–5. After removal from the wreck, I was anaesthetised to reduce the risk of secondary injury and flown to Addenbrooke's Hospital approximately 60 miles away.
With resuscitation ongoing, I was rushed for a full body CT and found to have a cracked rib, pneumothorax and bruising of my lungs. The CT head showed evidence of diffuse brain damage (figure 1).
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