Long road to recovery for brain-damaged Norfolk mum

Life has never been the same for Justin Seaman since a car accident a year ago left his wife and mother of his three children fighting for her life.

Beckii Seaman, 29, survived the crash but has been left brain damaged. She is in a wheelchair, unable to speak and with limited body movement.

At the time of the accident Mr Seaman, 34, had to decide whether she should live or die but does not regret his choice.

He said: 'I was told there was a chance that she could make some form of recovery. She may even one day be able to speak again.

'She has made gradual improvement as time has gone on. Initially she was being kept alive by machines and couldn't open her eyes. I remember seeing her open one eye for the first time after a week or so and then being able to breathe normally.

'I think she has some form of understanding of what is going on around her and she is able to communicate with me now and move her left arm. I use 'yes' and 'no' cards and she nods towards either one.'

Mrs Seaman moved back into the couple's Fakenham home on Friday after receiving residential care and treatment at Addenbrooke's Hospital, Cambridge then Caroline House neuro-rehabilitation centre, Norwich.

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Mr Seaman has given up work as a lorry driver to be a full-time carer for his wife and there have only been two days since the accident that he has not visited her.

Mrs Seaman is continuing to receive treatment. On August 20 she had a cranioplasty, an operation where a metal plate was inserted into her skull to keep her brain stable, and will be back in Addenbrooke's for a general check-up on November 29.

Mr Seaman is so grateful for the 'amazing' treatment that his wife has received at Addenbrooke's Hospital that he and family and friends are planning a sponsored walk to raise money to help other people who are treated there.

Mrs Seaman is one of 908 brain-injury patients treated last year at the hospital's world-renowned neuro-critical care unit, set up 13 years ago by professor David Menon.

Mr Seaman said: 'They have been absolutely amazing.

'They have gone above and beyond what you'd expect. I usually keep myself to myself but I agreed to go on television because I wanted people to see that anyone can end up in a situation like ours and Addenbrooke's does an incredible job for people of all ages and backgrounds.'

The couple's story featured in the BBC1 documentary, Between Life and Death, which was shown in July.

Ten people, including Mr Seaman, are planning to complete the sponsored walk, on October 24, which is 10 miles, from Cley to Wells.

Beckii Seaman will be doing the final mile along with her three children Cameron, eight, Lewis, seven, and Jake, five.

Mr Seaman added: 'I don't know what the final result will be for Beckii, we just take each day as it comes.

'I'm really happy that she is home again and I am starting to plan family trips out with the children.

'The children have coped very well and now we are trying to bring some form of normality back for them. Beckii has survived and anything else now is a bonus.'

Anyone wishing to sponsor the walk can go to www.justgiving.com/walk-for-beckii or call 07502 396776.Mrs Seaman's friends have also organised a ladies' night to raise money for Addenbrooke's Hospital.This will be held at Fakenham Superbowl next Saturday from 8pm and any females aged over 18 are welcome to attend.