A mother was inspired to help others after caring for her son who suffered a brain injury in a motorbike accident.

Lesley McGuire, 72, from St Albans, runs peer support groups for brain injury charity Headway Hertfordshire after spending nine years looking after her son, Keith.

Mr McGuire was involved in a motorcycle accident while he was living in Thailand in 2008 when he was 38.

He was told he would make a meaningful recovery and continued with his life in Thailand.

But in 2010 he returned to St Albans, where he had violent seizure.

Mrs McGuire found him lying on the kitchen floor in a pool of blood.

St Albans & Harpenden Review:

Lesley (right). Photo: Sharon Cooper.

He underwent emergency surgery for a fractured skull and frontal lobe injuries to his brain.

Doctors believe the seizure was linked to his prior injury. Throughout his recovery he experienced difficulties with memory, fatigue and behavioural changes.

Mrs McGuire said: “I faced some really difficult times as a carer.

“I fell into a depressive state and I felt like I was going round in circles at times.

“Because brain injury is a hidden disability, people don’t understand what you’re going through.

“There’s hardly any understanding about its effects so it can be difficult to find help, for both the survivor and their family.”

St Albans & Harpenden Review:

Lesley McGuire. Photo: Sharon Cooper.

Mr McGuire received help with his recovery from Headway Hertfordshire and his mother took part in the Carers Education Session to help cope with the effects of his injury.

He said: “I know that Mum found the information on understanding the brain very useful.

“It was nice for her to meet other carers and share experiences with them. It made me feel happier too knowing that she has people to talk to.”

Mr McGuire died in March of cancer, but his mother now runs peer support groups for the charity.

She added: “We’re like a little family at Headway Hertfordshire.

“If I just stayed at home, I know that I’d feel worse about my situation but volunteering at the charity has given my life purpose.”

Mrs McGuire has been shortlisted for Stephen McAleese Outstanding Contribution to Headway Award following her efforts to improve the lives of brain injury survivors.

For more information about the charity go to www.headway.org.uk.