Father recognised by Queen for raising awareness of brain injury

Mark Smith's son, Ryan, suffered a life changing brain injury from a cycling accident in 2013.

Mark, from Skegness, has now been awarded a British Empire Medal (BEM) in the Queen's New Year's Honours. The award recognises his work in supporting other people with brain injuries through the Ryan Smith foundation which he founded following Ryan's accident.  Ryan was hit by a van and his head injury resulted in him spending four months in a coma. Since then Mark has visited hundreds of schools and colleges, speaking to children to promoting the wearing of cycling helmets. He said: "I was very surprised. It's very humbling. I've been given it for my service to the families of traumatic brain injuries. It's testament to all the work the foundation has done. It's the icing on the cake to be honest." Read Mark and Ryan's full story here.  "I get wonderful messages from people whose child has been lesser hurt for wearing a helmet or that we have given another family hope from Ryan's story. That's the real reward. "If I'm being honest, I wish I never got the award because I'd much rather Ryan was back doing his normal life. "But we have turned a bad situation into a positive one. It gives us encouragement. "My family are very proud. The award is for me but it's for them really. I couldn't do it without their support. "I'm very grateful and honoured to receive the award and very proud of my immediate family who have supported me."

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