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Been there, done that

My wife Norma and I owned and managed the second largest Flower Postal Business in Guernsey, which we had started from scratch back in 1975. In the past I have represented Guernsey in Football, Athletics and in 1970 I rode the cycling road race at the Commonwealth Games in Edinburgh.

Then came April 13th 2002 when I had a complete change of identity after having a 143mph motor racing accident on Vazon Bay coast road. I cannot remember a solitary thing about the race day or being flown to Southampton Hospital for assessment.

When having an MRI scan Norma was told that I was 95% brain damaged and totally paralysed and ‘what you see is what you have for life’. I was then flown back to Guernsey and taken to the King Edward Hospital where my beautiful wife Norma would spend up to sixteen hours a day with me at my bedside. I had been a 5ft 8inch hard working stubborn Guern and was now just a 4ft wheelchair confined Donkey.

One of my first memories after my accident was my birthday at the end of June when my children and grandchildren came to the hospital to spend time with me. I can remember my 8 year old granddaughter saying, ‘the trouble with Popie’s brain is it’s like a big jigsaw and we have to wait until all the pieces go back in the right place again.’

My main problems are lack of balance and also my body does not seem to react to instructions. My brain IS telling it what to do! When I’m on my own I seem to get very emotional with thoughts that I’m not capable of doing many physical actions, although this is not so bad now.

ON A VERY MUCH POSITIVE NOTE, my ray of light has been my wife Norma who has always remained positive about life. She is 100% supportive, hard working and a completely loving lady.

Having found my love of art, I seem to spend a fair amount of time drawing, having taken up to 140 hours to complete one piece. I had to take my driving test again because I had not driven for over 5 years. I’ve had to have my motor car adapted so I am capable of driving myself to Headway at Styx Community Centre weekly where I meet friends that I’ve made over the past years with the same problems as I have and where we can converse and act together on the same playing field.

Hagan suffered a traumatic brain injury following a car accident in 2002.