Pair who survived horrific roadside crash open charity shop

A married couple who previously suffered devastating brain injuries in a high-speed collision have opened a charity shop.

Five years ago, Kevin and Louise French had been a changing a tyre on their teenage daughter’s car by the side of the motorway, when a vehicle travelling at 70mph crashed into them.

Kevin twice had to be resuscitated, once at the roadside and then again in hospital, and was originally told that his injuries were so severe that he would be unable to walk or talk again.  Although the 52-year-old’s recovery has defied medics’ most pessimistic predictions, he has been unable to return to work.

Louise also ended up in intensive care having suffered a brain injury, although the full extent of the trauma was not diagnosed until four months after the accident. After a period of rehabilitation – she had also broken her neck, pelvis and a number of other bones – she returned to doing shifts as a nurse.

“My daughter had a puncture on the M5 and called us to come and help her, so we parked behind her car on the hard shoulder,” said Louise, recalling the events leading up to the crash.

“The last thing I remember is opening the boot of her car to get the spare wheel out. Then the next thing is waking up in a scanning room in hospital. I don’t know how long after the accident that was, as I don’t remember much of the first three weeks.”

Following on from the life-changing collision, the couple have now launched a new charity shop in Whitchurch, Shropshire.

Louise said: “We’re really grateful for all the help Headway Shropshire has given us since the accident and we wanted to open the shop as a way of giving something back.”

Jo Plant, the charity’s director of fundraising, said: “We were delighted Kevin and Louise helped us officially open our new Whitchurch shop.

“Brain injury can devastate lives, and it can happen to anyone at any time. They are both proof that with the right support, there can be life after brain injury.

“They are a wonderful couple and it was an honour to have them there for the opening.”

  • At Almond Care our staff have the specialist training required to support those living with brain injuries. For further information about our services, please contact us today.