Dad walks again after motorbike smash leaves him in coma

Warren and Molly Veale at home in Morecambe
Warren and Molly Veale at home in Morecambe

He thought he would never walk again.

When Warren Veale’s motorbike collided with a Landrover in July 2005 he was left in a coma battling for life.

He suffered a brain aneurysm and broke both his legs and his hands.

Miraculously, he defeated the odds to survive, but doctors told him he would never be able get out of bed.

He proved them wrong.

And now he has taken one step further literally by setting aside his wheelchair and re-learning to walk.

But even that is not enough for battling Warren, from Westminster Road, Morecambe, who will even be taking part in a triathlon on November 8.

The 49-year-old credits his remarkable recovery to support from Lancaster and Morecambe support group Headway, plus help from his local gym 3-1-5 in Lancaster.

His recovery has left his family and friends stunned, including his wife Molly, 54.

“Initially it was quite awful,” she explains.

“The support from everyone around here is amazing.

“I just think Morecambe is a hidden gem, the people are lovely, the area is nice because I deal with someone disabled and it is flat, it has beautiful views and it’s inspiring.”

KJ, a swimming instructor at 3-1-5 gym, and Lee Jones, have created a program for Warren where he has been learning to swim, to walk and to cycle using the X-Force machines.

The machines are designed to push weight away from the body and then ease it back down.

Louise Thorton, commercial manager at 3-1-5 said: “With x-force it works both parts of the exercise and it means it is more effective.

“Warren is using these to gain muscle strength, it has effected them physically and mentally.”

Headway, a self funding group which offers support to people with a brain injury and their carers, have also been supporting the couple.

Molly said: “Headway have been very supportive, it has allowed us to access other areas of support with groups, places to go and wheelchair friendly areas.

“The acquired brain injury team at Blackpool were just amazing with us as well.”

According to Headway 558 UK residents per 100,000 sustain a brain injury and every 90 seconds someone is admitted to hospital with an acquired brain injury.

Warren is one of a million people living with the long-term effects of a brain injury.

The father-of-three began his journey at various hospitals across the country before deciding to move to Morecambe a year ago.

It was when the couple approached A Breath For Life, a charity in Middleton, near Overton, which provides alternative and complementary therapy for brain injured children and adults, that his progression took a major turn.

They offered hyperbaric oxygen therapy which involves breathing pure oxygen in a pressurised room.

“It didn’t change everything but it just altered everything to make him more aware of what was going on. It just shifted the whole spectrum from just being a disabled person,” explained Molly.

She said the whole process was difficult for the family including children Hayley, Elliot and Emily.

“It was hard on all the children for different reasons, my boys because my time was spent so much with Warren, he became my priority and for Warren his girls, they didn’t see him for a long time because his injuries were quite severe.”

However Molly knew her husband would get better in time.

“It has been like a one woman crusade to get Warren well and home. The one thing that brought me to tears the most was him not being able to go home with me, not being able to sleep with him by my side every night.

“His mum has been hit the hardest and to see her son so improved to me is a joy. For him to stand up and give his mum a cuddle is amazing.

“I knew he could make it, he’s my man,” she says with pride.

Even though Warren can’t remember much about the accident he misses his beloved motorbike, a Suzuki GSK 1100, and has some goals for the future.

He explained: “I miss the motorbike immensely, I don’t miss the accident though.

“I would like to get the triathlon out the way and I want to play the guitar again.

“My goal is to be a good husband.”

Molly said: “Relying on someone else is hard when you are a man and he keeps telling me he wants to be the best husband and I think for a man he wants to be able to support me in the way I have supported him.

“Life is amazing, I wouldn’t want to be with anyone else.”