Following a serious rugby injury, Angus Swanson spent weeks in a coma. His delicate condition was closely monitored using an ultra-modern portable CT scanner. This was provided to The Royal London by Barts Charity, thanks to a generous donation from London Freemasons.
He was told he was paralysed and he would never play rugby again his world was shattered. Angus, 23, from South Wales, tells how he battled back and why research into trauma medicine is vital to help others like him.
"I promptly collapsed at the side of the pitch and started having a fit. I was airlifted to The Royal London Hospital where doctors discovered that the impact of the blow had caused me to suffer a life-threatening brain haemorrhage.”
“My heart stopped and medical staff told my parents three times that they could do nothing else for me. Thankfully I began to show signs of improvement, though it was not until almost four weeks later that I started to regain consciousness. When I eventually came round I was paralysed. Not exactly the ideal way to end a rugby game, I couldn’t talk and was being fed via a nasogastric tube.”
"A neurosurgeon told me that I would spend the rest of my life in a wheelchair and would never play rugby again. This news shattered my world but I was determined to defy the odds. I couldn’t quite believe it as I had just started a degree in War Studies at Kings College University in London and had made it into their rugby team, a sport I had played since I was a young boy.”
“I’ve come a long way and it’s taken a lot of determination, but I had to do everything I could to pick myself up piece by piece and try to move on from those early stages of my brain injury. But I am only here because of the treatment I received at The Royal London Hospital and I owe my life to the medical staff and equipment supplied by London Freemasons, without that funding I may not be here.”