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Sports journalist seeks stranger who saved his life

A regional sports reporter who was struck down by a sudden brain haemorrhage is on the hunt for the Good Samaritan who may have saved his life.

Will Wood, a rugby writer on Gloucester daily The Citizen, suffered a seizure in the street in March last year while walking back to his car.

The 31-year-old, who had no previous record of ill-health, was found by a stranger in the street who immediately dialled 999.

Will, pictured, was taken to Frenchay Hospital near Bristol where doctors battled to save him, although initially they feared there was nothing that could be done.

However after two-and-a-half weeks in intensive care Will pulled through.

His injuries have had a huge impact on his life, causing serious impairment and memory loss, but Will has worked tirelessly to regain mental and physical fitness with the support of his family and girlfriend, Amy Perring.

Now, some 15 months on, he wants to speak out about his experience in a bid to raise awareness of what it is like to live with a brain injury.

And he is also hoping to track down the Good Samaritan who found him that day, and without whose intervention he might well have died.

“Suffering a bleed on the brain has changed my life completely,” said Will, a rugby writer at the Citizen.

“But I am not going to allow it to be the thing that defines me. I have spent much of the last year coming to terms with my injury and the ways it affects my life.

“As a result of what happened I have a greater appreciation of life and the people in it, including my family, my friends and Amy, who have all done so much to help my recovery.

“I would love to meet the person who found me by my car that day because if they hadn’t acted so quickly, I might not be here now.”

The consequences of Will’s injury, on March 2 last year, have been wide-ranging. He lost much of the sensation in his left side, causing him to walk with a limp and making it hard to use his left hand effectively. Everyday tasks, such as getting dressed became painstakingly difficult.

Damage caused to the connective tissues in his brain left him with large memory blanks and he has also had to contend with the onset of epileptic fits and bouts of extreme fatigue.

Despite these setbacks, Will has vowed to do everything in his power to reverse the effects of the bleed – working with brain injury charity Headway, in Gloucester.

He has slowly but surely regained much physical fitness. His memory remains patchy but it is improving day by day. He writes everything down to remind himself and, with routine, his brain is getting better at retaining information.

He has even begun a phased return to work, coming into the Citizen office three mornings a week, and life for Will is about setting new goals and achieving them one at a time.

“Being a journalist was a huge part of who I was before my bleed, so one of my big goals has been to get back to work,” he added.

“I would like to get fit enough to do fundraising runs for charities such as Headway, who have helped me so much. I also hope by speaking out I can help other people who have suffered brain injuries.”

Amy, who has been beside Will every step of the way, added: “Life now is a balancing act of trying not to let Will’s injury define our lives; however at the same time accepting that it is now a part of who he is so a part of who we are.”

Will writes about his progress on his Blog at which is to feature on the Citizen’s website.

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  • June 4, 2014 at 11:45 am

    I hope you find the Good Samaritan, continue your recovery and get back to a job you obviously love.

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