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Family of cyclist left brain damaged in accident appeals for witnesses
The family of a father-of-two left hospitalised and suffering from permanent brain damage after being knocked from his bicycle just over a year ago, has made an appeal for witnesses to come forward and help in their fight for justice.
Colin O’Shea, 48, (right) has remained in Walsgrave Hospital since the incident in Hollis Road, Coventry, on 19 October last year. He suffered a ‘catastrophic’ head injury in the collision, which has left him with severe brain damage and requiring permanent hospital care.
Now, lawyers are urging anyone who witnessed the incident to get in touch with information which might help them piece together exactly what happened, so that they can secure badly needed care, help and financial support for Mr O’Shea and his family.
“The problem is that we still have very little information about the accident,” said Katie Pendower, a specialist serious injuries lawyer with Fentons Solicitors, part of Slater & Gordon. “We know Colin was cycling along Hollis Road as he made his way from work at about 3.20 in the afternoon, just around the corner from the family home in The Moorfield, Stoke Aldermoor. He suffered a catastrophic brain injury and cannot tell us what happened, but we believe that the door of a parked car has been opened, causing Colin to collide with the vehicle and throwing him from his mountain bike.”
Mr O’Shea, who works as a caretaker at Coventry University, was rushed to Walsgrave Hospital where he spent more than a month in critical care before being moved to a specialist neurology ward.
His wife Kelly said she would never forget the day of the accident. “Colin was an experienced cyclist, and I knew what time he finished work and was due home,” said Mrs O’Shea. “He was regular as clockwork – you could set your watch by his routine – so when he didn’t come home at the usual time, I knew something was wrong.”
Mrs O’Shea said her husband was so seriously injured that doctors warned her he may not survive. “He had a shunt fitted to drain fluid from his brain, and they had to remove bone from the sides of his head because of the swelling,” she said. “He had a tracheotomy to provide him with oxygen through a tube and was fitted with a feeding peg, which he’ll be dependent on permanently.
“Colin has no movement at all now,”said Mrs O’Shea. “He used to be able to move his toes but he can’t do that anymore. They haven’t taken him out of bed, and he doesn’t show much awareness. He can sometimes respond to people being in the room, and I think he knows that the children and I are always around.”
The seriousness of the brain injury means that Mr O’Shea is likely to remain in hospital permanently, something that is obviously devastating for his family.
“This is a truly tragic situation,” said Mrs Pendower, who is representing the familyin their fight for compensation. “In order to secure the specialist care and support that Colin will need, we have to try and piece together the full picture of what happened that day.
“We are urging anyone who might have helpful information about the incident – no matter how small or insignificant they think it might be – to come forward,” she said. “It was a relatively busy time of day, there were several vehicles in the area and we know that many people also live in the immediate vicinity of the accident. Even if they only witnessed the aftermath of this tragic accident, they might still have information vital to this case.
“If we are to secure the help Colin and his family need right now, and will undoubtedly need in the future, we really need witnesses to get in touch.”
Can you help?
If you remember seeing the incident in Hollis Road, Coventry, at around 3.20pm on Friday 19 October 2012, please contact Katie Pendower at Fentons Solicitors, part of Slater & Gordon, on 0844 854 3198 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org. All information will be treated in confidence and the slightest detail could be hugely significant to Mr O’Shea and his family.
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