The hidden side of my brain injury

Almost three years after a speedway racing accident left him with a serious brain injury, teenager Sam shares what life is like now, and how he manages the more hidden effects of his injury.

Sam stood with his new GT140 bike

Published: May 2022. Date of brain injury: June 2019 (young person aged 15 years).

Sam was a speedway rider with the Mildenhall Fen Tigers team when he had a serious crash at the British Youth Championships in Glasgow in June 2019.

Now 18, Sam is learning to drive – having already passed his theory test – and has returned to the racetrack. However, this is challenging, as Sam continues to manage the hidden effects of his brain injury on a daily basis.

Living with a brain injury

In this video Sam talks about how he is still affected and offers advice to other young people living with a brain injury.

Sometimes I struggle to find the right words… but I try and stay positive!”

Strategies to manage hidden effects

In June 2021, Sam won his first competitive race since his accident. While in training for the next one, Sam has put strategies in place to cope with the physicality the sport requires at his level. He limits his use of technology in the days leading up to a race and makes sure he is well rested by going to bed early.

Day to day, Sam is enjoying working towards his apprenticeship in motor vehicles at a local garage – Acorn Garage. Due to his fatigue, he must take regular rest breaks and finish an hour early, but he always returns home with a smile on his face and is determined to develop his knowledge and skill within the industry.

You might end up going a different way than you wanted to, but you will get there in the end.”

You can find out more about Sam’s story here.

Approaching adulthood

Our section on moving towards adulthood looks at employment, driving and alcohol after an acquired brain injury. You'll find some practical advice, along with things to think about.