Adventurer proves there is life after a brain injury

Justin Miles
Justin Miles

AN ADVENTUROUS Kenilworth man who has overcome adversity is now focusing all his attention on arctic expeditions, days out with the Queen and casino events to raise awareness of brain injuries.

Since Justin Miles was forced to learn how to walk and talk again after having a severe brain injury following a car crash in 1999, he has taken part in many adventures, expeditions and challenges in order to raise awareness of the Children’s Trust, which supports youngsters with brain injuries.

He said: “Because brain injuries are invisible it’s impossible for people to know that there’s a reason for this behaviour and even people who do know that there’s a problem are quick to forget.

“Physically, I recovered very quickly. Talking was much slower to get back to normal. Twelve years on I still suffer occasionally and so I have a great empathy for anyone who has suffered a brain injury of any kind, child or adult.”

The 39-year-old’s latest events to help him raise awareness of this is a charity casino evening at the recently opened Pomeroys Bistro in Station Road, Kenilworth, on Tuesday May 1. This will be followed by a 106-mile paddle around the Warwickshire Ring canal system from May 4 to May 7.

He said: “Earlier this year I was in the Arctic and this year I’ll paddle around the canal network, escort the Queen as part of the Diamond Jubilee Pageant, kayak the English Channel, paddleboard around the Isle of White and go to the Arctic again to prepare for a 2013 expedition to the Arctic Pole of Inaccessibility.

“Like all of my UK challenges, the idea of the Warwickshire Ring Challenge is to get as many people involved as possible. We’re aiming to complete the challenge over a the bank holiday weekend from The Grand Union Bar in Leamington, so that people can come along and join in – either on the water, running or cycling next to us on the footpath or at one of the events that we’re linking in with the challenge.

“If people can’t make this I’m hosting the charity casino evening at Pomeroys,. Its owners are providing the venue and a ‘Just for the Challenge’ cocktail for the evening, with the casino tables and staff being donated by another Kenilworth company,”

Prizes for the evening have been donated by local businesses, these include bottles of wine, dinner for two, book vouchers, books, something from Touch FM which will be revealed on the night and a training session. Mr Miles added: “I haven’t let what happened to me beat me and I want other people who have suffered or who are suffering from brain injuries to never just accept them.

“You need to make happen what you want to happen - it’s tough, but improvements can be made and there is always hope.”