Rider beat a brain injury to raise cash

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A mum who suffered the same horrific brain injury as Michael Schumacher is fighting back by raising funds for the people that saved her life.

Diane Grant, 55, was in a medically induced coma for 10 week after she fell backwards off her horse, landing on concrete.

Though she was wearing a riding hat, her head was so badly injured that a large section of her skull had to be removed.

Mum-of-two Diane is convinced the prompt action of the charity-run air ambulance saved her from more serious disability or even death.

Now, after months of treatment at Oxford’s John Radcliffe hospital and rehabilitation at Bletchley’s Thomas Edward Mitten House, she has put pen to paper and composed a poem to help the charity.

She plans to sell copies of the life-celebrating poem for £1 each from the reception of Bletchley’s MK:TWO Business Centre, where she worked in credit control before her accident. All proceeds will be donated to Thames Valley and Chiltern air ambulance.

“Without them I wouldn’t be here today. I owe them everything,” said Diane, who has also been invited to meet the crew that saved her.

She and her husband Colin, who live in Fenny Stratford, are now hoping Michael Schumacher will make the same miraculous recovery.

Said Colin: “The cases are very similar. Diane was gradually woken up from her coma in exactly the same way and it took several weeks to get all the drugs out of her system so she could regain consciousness.

“During that time the doctors warned us they did not know how she would be when she came round. They said she might not even recognise me or her children.”

But Colin, married to Diane for 25 years, devised his own communication system during those crucial weeks - through blinks of the eye.

“I’d ask Diane to blink if she could here me . She’d blink strongly two or three times. That gave me hope that everything would be alright.”

But it was not all plain sailing, said Colin. On two occasions dangerous clots formed in Diane’s brain and she was rushed off for surgery and declared in a “critical” state.

“I never lost faith that she’d survive. I knew how tough and determined she was,” he said.

When Diane first regained consciousness she did not remember anything from two years before her fall. Today her memory is returning to normal and she is becoming physically stronger, although still weak down her left hand side.

“I’m determined to go back to work as soon as I can. The one thing I won’t do it ride a horse again though – I’ve promised Colin I won’t!” she said.