Following the success of ‘Ben, Again the brain injury survivor is seeking to work with organisations throughout the UK that would benefit from hearing his story
What happens when a car runs you over in a third world country and you survive, but your girlfriend doesn’t? When you were darn lucky or smart enough to pay a £10 health insurance add-on so that you can get transferred from a badly equipped hospital to a decent one? When you come out of coma but don’t know who you are? How do you react and feel when doctors give the worst possible scenarios of what might happen and how your future may play out? What happens? What do you do?
This is exactly what happened to Ben Clench in September 2010. Ben, then 27, was on holiday in the Dominican Republic with his girlfriend Jazz when they were tragically hit by a 4×4 car. Sadly, Jazz was killed instantly, and Ben suffered a severe head injury which left him in a coma in a developing world hospital.
Ben was flown back to the UK and, following a month in intensive care, he slowly emerged from the coma. He had no memory and little physical control or ability and the expectations for his recovery were low. However, with the help of his family and friends, Ben defied the doctors and numerous medical opinions and within a few short months, he was out of hospital and embarking on an intensive self-directed rehabilitation programme.
Six months later, much to the dismay of Ben’s medical support team, he went to the Glastonbury Festival and, only a mere nine months after leaving hospital – and a year out of intensive care – he was studying full-time for a second Master’s Degree in International Development. In his own words, Ben said: “I wanted to push myself and relearn what I knew ‘before’. The doctors gave me quite a stern warning that I wasn’t ready, but I’m proud to say I proved them wrong.”
Just over a year into his recovery, Ben had a series of head scans. His doctor showed these at a medical conference. When the doctor asked the delegates their prognosis on Ben, the delegates expected him to be in a wheelchair and not doing particularly well. He was very pleased to tell the conference that nothing could be further from the truth as, at the time, Ben was well into studying for his second Master’s. His doctor suggested that Ben wrote about his experience as it would give so many others who had or were suffering from major traumas hope. Ben did this and, ‘Ben, Again’ was created.
Some chapters of the book are written by Ben with others penned by his friends and family. Ben added: “I wanted to tell my story and show that my experience clearly demonstrates that the predictions from medical staff are not always correct and, if support is in place, one can have a positive and meaningful recovery. It took a lot of determination on my part and tremendous support, encouragement and help from my loved ones to get me, Ben, back again.”
But Ben’s not stopping there. He’s come a long way, but there still a road to travel. He is now turning his talents to public speaking and already has a wide and varied experience of different speaker engagements including a very successful appearance at TEDx Brighton 2018, where he was voted the highest rated speaker of the event.
Ben is now actively seeking to work with organisations throughout the UK that would benefit from hearing his story. If you would be interested in having Ben speak at an event or would like to hear more about his incredible journey, please contact him at email email@example.com or mobile 07738 094608. Alternatively, to find out more about Ben, please visit his website at https://ben-again.org/