In the early hours of one November morning in 2011, 23-year-old Dan was found lying on the road metres away from his car which had ploughed into a tree. By the time he was brought into St Mary's Major Trauma Centre, Dan had slipped into a coma and was given a slim chance of surviving his horrific injuries, particularly those to his head.
The Major Trauma Team worked swiftly to remove part of Dan's skull to relieve the pressure on his swelling brain and placed him in an induced coma. Daniel says: "After three weeks I came to with no idea where I was, how to speak, eat or move. After six weeks I was moved out of intensive care into the high dependency unit, where I spent my 21st birthday, surrounded by family and friends but with no idea what was happening."
"I remember more than anything else wanting to be able walk again but it took a further two and a half months before I was able to learn this. Seven months after my accident the same trauma team that saved my life operated on me again, this time to place a metal plate over my brain to protect it and almost immediately my recovery seemed to pick up pace.
"Over time, I had to learn how to speak and eat properly again. Before the accident, I didn't talk much and just mumbled a lot. Now family and friends tell me I can't stop talking! I feel like I have my life back now, I'm back working three days a week at my old job. I'd even go as far to say life is better, I appreciate everything, every day, and I always make time for people."
"The Major Trauma Centre is like my second home. I often visit to say hello to the doctors, nurses and cleaning staff who always ask me why I haven't asked my girlfriend to marry me! There's nothing more important than saving a life and the Major Trauma Team do everything they possibly can to give us the best chance of not just survival but full rehabilitation. I and my family are so very grateful to them."