A mother and daughter from South Woodham Ferrers will run the London Marathon on Sunday to raise money for a charity that supported their family after the son was hit by a car in Lanzarote.
Kirstie, and her daughter Chloe Burrells will run the 26.2 mile route for brain injury charity Headway.
A relaxing family holiday to Lanzarote turned into a nightmare in 2012 when Kirstie’s son, Charlie, was hit by a car.
The 16-year-old developed a brain bleed and after a gruelling six weeks he returned to the UK and had changed.
“It was hideous. We’d only been there two days,” 47-year-old Kirstie said.
“You’re in a country where they speak broken English. We didn’t speak any Spanish. We felt quite isolated.”
Whilst his sister Chloe was stuck at home in South Woodham Ferrers, Charlie was sent to Gran Canaria for care. His parents had to leave him and get a separate flight.
“This in itself was really difficult, as you can imagine, just being told this news then having to leave your child not knowing what may happen in the next few hours,” Kirstie continued.
Charlie pulled through and after weeks of recovery he was well enough to travel back to the UK.
Kirstie continued: “His personality changed. He had no empathy and he’d been a very empathetic person before.
“We were told it will come back but it will take time.”
The entire family struggled to cope with the changes. Charlie couldn’t accept what had happened to him and wouldn’t talk about what he went through.
“As time went on he would see different things on TV and say ‘that was like me,” she added.
They found the charity, Headway Essex, who helped them through and reassured them that these changes were normal.
Five years on, Charlie now leads a normal life as an insurance broker.
Kirstie said: “We are both really excited to be running the marathon for Headway as it is our way of saying thank you for the advice that was given to our family when we needed it.
“We know the money raised will go towards helping other families, who unfortunately find themselves in similar situations, receive the support they need.”
Cerys Beeby, Senior Community Fundraiser for Headway, knows that the money raised will help those confused by the personality changes a brain injury survivor may go through.
“Thanks to fundraisers like Kirstie and Chloe running the London Marathon we can make sure families get the support they need when they’re going through an incredibly difficult time in their lives,” she said.
Collectively Kirstie and Chloe have raised almost £4,000 and hope to raise as much as possible to support brain injury survivors and their families. To find out more visit headway.org.uk.