Charlie’s taking brain injury bill to the top - The Solihull Observer

Charlie’s taking brain injury bill to the top

Solihull Editorial 2nd Dec, 2021   0

A SOLIHULL footballer who defied death at the age of 15 and had to learn to walk and talk again is calling on the government to publish a plan to support others with brain injuries.

A surgeon once told Charlie Fogarty, now aged 25: “Flippin’ heck, you defy science – you should be dead.”

Now he – alongside The Children’s Trust – is calling for the Acquired Brain Injury (ABI) Private Members’ Bill, sponsored by Chris Bryant MP, to be passed to help others like him.

Charlie was rushed to the trauma unit at Birmingham Children’s’ Hospital after being hit by a car in 2012.

When his neuro-surgeon first looked at X-rays he expressed amazement at his miraculous survival.

Charlie (pictured) then spent six months at a hospital in Surrey learning to walk, talk, dress and eat again.

Chris Bryant’s Bill has been created in the hope of committing the government to prepare and publish a strategy to meet the needs of children and adults with an ABI.

More than 200 MPs, brain injury survivors and other providers have also signed a letter to Prime Minister Boris Johnson, urging him to support the ABI Bill, which will have its second reading in the House of Commons this Friday, December 3.

Charlie said: “I know first-hand the challenges faced by people with brain injury every day and how beneficial it would be to know that every child and adult is properly supported following an ABI.”

The Bill is backed by organisations such as The Children’s Trust, UK Acquired Brain Injury Forum, Headway, The Disabilities Trust and Child Brain Injury Trust.

Before the accident, Charlie was a member of Birmingham City Football Club youth academy and had already represented Northern Ireland at various age groups.

But all that changed in the blink of an eye and he was in a coma for four months.

Once discharged he set up and became the player-manager of the open-age disability team at Solihull Moors Football Club and has returned to international football, playing for Northern Ireland at the Cerebral Palsy World Cup.

Off the pitch, Charlie is an inspirational speaker, taking his message to football clubs, schools and hospitals across the country.

In 2018 he was made an MBE for services to young people in Solihull and has won the Sports Solihull Disabled Sportsman of the Year award and the High Sheriff County award for Inspiring Others, after being nominated by the Mayor of Solihull.


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