How my life has changed since surviving a car crash

Teenager, Daniel Bennett, is learning to live with memory and vision problems and his taste senses have changed.

The 17-year-old from Barry was in a car crash earlier this year (2015) which left him with a brain injury. "I feel like a different person now," he says. "I don't really remember how I used to think before the crash." He spent nine days in a coma after suffering a brain injury as well as a broken wrist, leg, shoulder and two breaks in his back. "I'll forget what I've been saying to people or what I've said. I'll forget what I've done last weekend." Three of Daniel's best friends died in the collision. Daniel's brain injury affects his memory and his vision. He has also developed anxiety. "It wasn't until I got home all the pieces of the puzzle came together and I realised how much medical care I'd need to have," he says. "I couldn't sleep properly because the left side of my body was all broken." "It's hard to put your finger on what exactly it is but he's not the same," Daniel's mum, Lucy, explains. "A brain injury is an unseen disability. We've all had to adjust to the new Dan. "I did bring a different son home from hospital." Lucy says Daniel is a lot more paranoid, aggressive and agitated since he was in the crash. She says he swears a lot more too. "Everything feels like more effort," Daniel says. "When I came out of hospital I couldn't feel the temperature and everything tasted differently. "That was weird." He's made improvements though and can feel the cold now. "I'm still learning what the best way is to cope with everything I've got." His brain is still recovering from the injury the crash caused, but he was able to go back to sixth-form in September. "After two years is where I'll probably be at for the rest of my life but I know I've already made significant improvements."
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