Hugh Smith, I suffered a severe traumatic brain injury on my twenty-first birthday, now over 13 years on I have great pleasure in writing a blog for Acquired Minds.
2018, started in the worst possible way, on the 28th January my father died, an extremely short and unexpected illness that had taken dad too soon. A father and son business, Dad established Flus4u upon my injury and around my hospital bed. Somewhat reactively it had to be adapted overnight, continuing his legacy. Now, at the forefront of the business with the help of my older brother who assists when 2 people are needed, Flus4u is still a family business. Dad was buried in February and ashes scattered at Cheltenham Racecourse, a firm favourite with all the family. In May this year I asked my girlfriends hand in marriage, having said yes plans are in full flow for the wedding in April 2019. We enjoyed a holiday to Lake Garda, Italy, somewhere I’ve never been before. Outside of these monumental events I have mainly concentrated my time and effort in Flus4u, making it a continued success.
A busy month brought about a turn in work for Flus4u, installations of new wood burning and multi-fuel stoves took off as the nights started to draw in and the cold weather began to bite. On Saturday 6th October, 6 friends and I played FootGolf, something I’ve never done before, I was totallyembarrassed considering I hadn’t kicked a ball in 15+ years! It rained hard so we got thoroughly wet but it was good fun and worth doing, next time it would be better in the dry!
We have continued with our wedding plans and met with the florist on the 13th, the wheels are in motion and every aspect is being thought of and planned for.
I have continued with my running, attending the local gym every week, the running club on a Wednesday night and ‘bootcamp’ on a Thursday. It has culminated in the completion of five 10km runs, a 10 mile run raising money and awareness for Headway, and completing the Virtual Lands End to John O’Groats. On the 14th of October I competed in my 5th 10km run of 2018, recording a seasonal best time of 45.05 minutes.
The 23rd October would have been Dads birthday, I spent it with a brother installing a stove, working in honour of our ‘rock’. There was horseracing at Cheltenham on the 26th and 27th, this is where we scattered Dads ashes so went to these and said ‘hello’. An emotional weekend finished with a family Sunday roast at the local pub for his birthday.
October was a busy month, but like each other in 2018, I’vebeen getting used to the new normal without Dad and business partner, one that won’t be forgotten, but celebrated for the life I live today.
Read the real life story of Hugh; The New Me; My Journey Back From Traumatic Brain Injury.