Scarborough's Brooke Trotter awarded runner up prize in national award
A Scarborough man who had a 30% chance of survival after being hit by a car, has come runner up in a national award for his efforts to prevent accidents on the road.
Brooke was one of just three finalists in the running for the title of Alex Richardson Achiever of the Year.
The awards ceremony, organised by Headway - the brain injury association, took place today (Friday December 6) at the InterContinental London Park Lane, Mayfair.
Of being shortlisted, Brooke said: “It’s a big honour to be recognised for an annual award. When I started my public speaking journey it was to help other survivors, not for the recognition so it means a lot.
“It’s a huge surprise – I really didn’t expect it!”
Brooke was studying Electrical Engineering at university in Manchester in 2007 when, aged 24, he was hit by a speeding car whilst walking home from a night out.
Despite stepping onto the pavement in time and the driver slamming on his brakes, he lost control of the vehicle and mounted the pavement, crashing into Brooked with such force his head went through the windscreen – leaving him with a fractured skull and life-threatening brain haemorrhage.
He was rushed to hospital and his family and friends were told to prepare for the worst.
However, against the odds Brooke woke from a coma after 16 days and returned home five months later though the lasting effects of the injury - chronic fatigue, lack of concentration and memory loss - meant he was unable to complete his university studies.
Instead, he decided to use his experiences to raise awareness of brain injury and the importance of being safe and careful on the roads and who now travels the country delivering speeches on behalf of the emergency services.
He has also worked with undergraduate law students, giving talks about his experiences of a personal injury case and what he thinks makes a good solicitor.
Brooke said: “I remember in the early days of my recovery reading something that said ‘Do something every day that challenges you’ and I knew public speaking would do just that.”
Brooke delivered his first speech to fellow survivors at Headway East Coast, a local brain injury charity.
He said: “I first heard about Headway through my Occupational Therapist at the time. There isn’t much awareness about brain injury, especially in the remote areas of Scarborough so it was a huge deal when the charity was set up.
“I went along to one of the first ever meetings to talk about my experiences and was a keen member of the group for many years.
“Headway gave me a place to belong. In the early days I felt very isolated and down, but Headway gave me the chance to meet and talk to people who understand what it’s like to live with a brain injury.
“I love doing what I do. One of the positives to come out of the accident is that I can now help to educate others through sharing my story. I think it makes others realise just how lucky they are.”
But his public speaking journey hasn’t been without its challenges.
“Because I have difficulties remembering things after my accident, I have to take notes and prompts with me when I’m speaking,” said Brooke.
“I don’t want to be one of those people reading word for word from a script, but if I don’t take some form of aid with me I’ll lose my train of thought or go on a tangent and start rambling about all sorts.”