Cambridgeshire

Man in marathon for Cambridgeshire brain injury charity

A man who was brain-damaged in a car accident is running the London Marathon to raise funds for the charity that helped him recover.

Luke Flatman, from Ely, has no memory of the accident in 2008 and has trouble remembering what he has done each day.

Staff at Fen House, a centre run by the Brain Injury Rehabilitation Trust, are helping him piece together the present.

Now he plans to run the marathon to raise funds for the centre in Ely which he still attends.

Mr Flatman was a 22-year-old student when he was involved in the accident near his college in Scarborough.

He was transferred to Addenbrooke's Hospital in Cambridge with serious injuries, and remained in a coma for a week. When he woke, he was suffering from post-traumatic amnesia as a result of brain injury.

'Visualising memories'

While Mr Flatman can clearly recall his childhood in Ely and his days as a choral scholar in the city, he remembers nothing of the months leading up to the accident, and refers to his memory loss as "quite random".

"It's the formation of new memories that's a problem," Mr Flatman explained.

Image caption Mr Flatman was in a coma for a week following the crash

"If I've watched a film, I might not even remember I've seen it the next day."

Staff at Fen House have been teaching him different methods of "visualising memories" and he said he was now "90% of the way to recovery".

However, he has been told that the final 10% of his rehabilitation could be the most challenging.

"I write things down a lot and keep a journal to remind me what I've been doing.

"My life is lived off a calendar. If it wasn't written down, it wouldn't get done."

Mr Flatman hopes to complete the London Marathon in under five hours and said , although he still has trouble remembering what he has done on a day-to-day basis, he "will not be forgetting that run in a very long time".

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