Hudgell Solicitors ambassador Paul Spence has donated £7,650 to the Neurosurgical Ward at Hull Royal Infirmary following fundraising efforts which included a 26-day marathon challenge and encouraging the workers of Hull to strip for a charity calendar.
Paul was treated on the specialist ward after suffering a serious brain haemorrhage when he was the victim of an unprovoked attack in Hull in 2012.
He spent five days in and out of consciousness on the ward and repeatedly suffered seizures, but thanks to the support of doctors, he pulled through and was set on his way to an inspirational recovery.
Through determination and positivity, Paul then competed in a half marathon a year to the day of his injury, helping to raise £17,500 for the ward through that event and a fun day which was supported by 70 of his friends and family.
Now, he has added another £7,650 to that total from fundraising in 2014, including the popular calendar, for which he roped in several of his former work colleagues to strip, selling out within weeks of going on sale last December.
Paul also completed a challenge in which he went through 25 weeks of intensive training, starting by running a mile in week one and then building up to run an extra mile each week, before completing a full marathon in week 26. That event marked three years to the day of the attack on Paul, a significant milestone in his recovery.
Handing over the cheque, Paul said he was delighted to be supporting others who find themselves fighting back after suffering a serious head injury.
“It is tremendous to be handing over this money and I would like to thank everybody who has supported the events or made a donation over the past year,” Paul said.
“The staff on ward 440 looked after me brilliantly whilst I was in hospital. It can be a frightening place to be when you are in hospital after suffering a brain injury. You don’t really know what the future holds or how you’ll rebuild your life, but it is comforting to know you are in good hands.
“You need the people around you to be positive, and it’s important to be somewhere where you feel you are benefitting from the very best care and treatment, and that was certainly the case for me.
“Ward 440 put me on the road to recovery, something that I was always be grateful for, and I will always look to support them in the future.
“It is great to know the money is going towards equipment which will help others receive the treatment and care needed to help recover from serious injuries.”
Paul has established his own charity, Paul For Brain Recovery, which has the long-term goal of opening a walk-in support centre in Hull for those who are trying to rebuild their lives following brain injuries.
He is also an official ambassador for Hudgell Solicitors, a role in which he will offer support and advice to brain injury victims being supported by the firm, using his own experiences to give people a real-life example and mentor when facing the challenges on the long road to recovery ahead.
George Spink, Consultant Neurosurgeon at Hull and East Yorkshire Hospitals NHS Trust said: “Paul’s fundraising efforts are invaluable to us and the people we serve. We’re incredibly grateful of the lengths he goes to for our unit but, more importantly, to help us improve care for other patients.
“It is always good to see one of your patients recover so well from a brain injury, Paul has dramatically turned his life around and is now committing his time and efforts to helping others.
“With the launch of his new charity, we hope to work alongside him as we aim to provide greater support to people going through brain recovery in Hull and East Yorkshire.
“With the monies raised previously, the Neurosurgical Unit has been able to purchase a number of items which have helped us enormously with treating patients here.
“We hope to put the extra funds donated towards more life changing and life-saving equipment for our future patients.”