A graduate is hoping to raise £4,000 for a brain research charity by trekking for six days through the Sumatran Jungle.
Katy Wright wanted to support the cause after her father suffered a serious head injury when he was struck by a cab following a Christmas work’s party.
Tony Wright had left the celebrations early because he was due to pick his daughter up from Northumbria University the following morning.
But instead of her dad arriving in Newcastle to collect her at 10am, Miss Wright was woken at 4am on December 17, 2011, by two policemen knocking on her door.
“It was awful. It didn’t really seem real,” said the 22-year-old. “All I got told was that he’d been in a car accident and was in intensive care.”
A friend took Miss Wright home and she went straight to Leeds General Infirmary.
“I don’t think the severity of the words ‘intensive care’ and ‘critical state’ really hit me until I saw the faces of my family who had been there for the past few hours. It was only then that I realised my dad was clinging onto his life.”
Mr Wright, a financial advisor, had been hit by the car in the accident near Leeds train station. He suffered a head trauma which caused a brain stem bleed.
He was put in an induced coma and had a burr hole in his skull to relieve the pressure on his brain.
For the next three months Mr Wright, 51, was in a minimally conscious state. After spending six months in three hospitals, Mr Wright returned home to Baildon. But the recovery was far from complete.
Until recently he was fed through a tube directly into his stomach and he suffers from ataxia, which means he cannot always co-ordinate his muscles, dysphagia, which makes it difficult to swallow, and aphasia, which affects his speech. He is looked after by his daughter and wife, Susan, 51, and carers visit three times a day. He also has physiotherapy and speech and language therapy.
But Miss Wright said her dad, who did the Great North Run in 2010 and 2011, just gets on with his life.
“He’s coped amazingly with it. He’s still so positive and wakes up with a smile on his face every day,” she said. Mr Wright said: “I’m here. You just make the best of it.”
The initial treatment Mr Wright had was made possible through work by the Brain Research Trust which researches treatment for brain tumours and conditions such as Alzheimer’s Disease, stroke and epilepsy.
Miss Wright, who lives with her parents at Wensleydale Rise, Baildon, said the work was vital and she wanted to leap out of her comfort zone to help the charity.
“I wanted to support the research. There’s plenty of people who still can’t be helped, but in ten years there might be something they can do because of the research,” said Miss Wright, a former Salt Grammar School pupil.
She will fly to Indonesia in April for the six-day trek.
Sponsor her at justgiving.com/ katy-wright1.