APS Legal is supporting Brain Injury Action Week

Brain injury can affect any one, at any time in their life. Headway – the brain injury association - is here to make life after brain injury better for everyone.

In the UK, one person every 90 seconds is admitted to hospital with a serious brain injury, with men being 1.6 times more likely to be admitted with a head injury than women.

Traumatic brain injury (TBI) is most commonly the result of a fall, a road accident, an assault or a stroke, particularly in older people.

James Cracknell’s story

In 2010, Olympic gold medallist, and all round action man, James Cracknell suffered a traumatic brain injury while attempting to race across America, as part of a challenge for TV series he was filming.

The former pro-athlete was biking in Arizona when a petrol tanker’s wing mirror struck him at speed on the head, resulting in multiple fractures to his skull.

The long road to recovery

After being airlifted to hospital, placed in a medically induced coma and several MRI’s later, doctors revealed James’ brain had shifted on impact, damaging the frontal lobes which control personality, decision-making, planning, concentration and motivation.

Following the accident, the two-time rowing champion said he was ‘lucky to be alive’ and may not have survived where it not for the helmet he was wearing.

During his recovery, James has spoken honestly about the struggles of rehabilitation from a traumatic brain injury (TBI). He is forever changed by the accident, with some side effects being temporary and others life-long changes.

James recalls suffering from memory loss, loss of vocabulary, losing the ability to follow complex theories and, in later years being diagnosed with epilepsy following multiple seizures.

Cracknell shared how his personality has changed, finding he is quicker to lose his temper or get frustrated. This change has not only impacted James, but his wife and children who he struggled to care for on his own during the early stages of his recovery.

Moreover, James discussed the dissonance he felt as those closest to him adjusted to his new persona while his own perspective on things felt familiar and unchanged. 


Life after brain injury

In the 10 years since his accident, James has returned to sport, had a third child and written a best-selling book with his wife detailing their struggles as a family.

Cracknell recently participated in The Boat Race, April 2019, rowing for Cambridge and claiming the crown as the oldest person to ever take part in the race.

He is currently living in Cambridge as he studies for a Maters in Philosophy degree in Human Evolutionary Studies at Peterhouse College.

Cracknell is now Vice President for Headway and campaigns to bring awareness and funds to the charity.

How can you help?

According to Headway’s Spring 2019 magazine:

‘Cognitive impairment following brain injury can make it hard for people to come to sound financial decisions or to identify when they are at risk of falling prey to financial scammers.’

As an IFA, you can help your clients to put plans in place, whether that’s writing a will, estate planning or powers of attorney, that can protect their wealth, and their family, should the worse happen.

Aligning yourself with charities such as Headway, can be reassuring to those clients who may find themselves dealing with additional and unexpected vulnerabilities later in their life.


About APS

APS can help with Will Writing, Estate Planning, Lasting Powers of Attorney and probate administration. Our back office support system, available for all our associates, allows you to white- label these services, meaning you can advise clients directly, instead of referring these out.

Our qualified legal team will hand draft these documents on your behalf, ultimately enabling you to spend time with your clients and focus on growing your business.

For more information on how you can offer this service directly to your clients, but without the burden of extensive administration, please contact us.