Phil on the mend after cheating death

Action for Brain Injury Week, Momentum Skills. Philip Morgan (50)
Action for Brain Injury Week, Momentum Skills. Philip Morgan (50)
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Phil Morgan almost lost his life after being poisoned by carbon monoxide gas while in a tent on Minch Moor, above Innerleithen, last February.

A year on from being just hours from death, the 50-year-old Galashiels man returned to work, thanks to the help of a local charity.

This week, as part of Action for Brain Injury Week, he spoke about their vital support.

Oxygen deprivation left Phil in a coma, and his rescuers arrived in the nick of time.

After starting his recovery in hospital, he was referred to Momentum Skills in June, and the Borders-based brain injury charity has helped him get back to work at Tesco.

Phil said: “Momentum has helped me with my cognitive abilities, my concentration and focus, and helped me deal with fatigue.”

He added: “I can remember very little about the accident. I can remember setting off walking and pitching the tent, and then it got dark.

“The next thing I remember is waking up in hospital several days later.”

Commenting on his miraculous recovery, Phil said: “I feel a lot better thanks to Momentum, and much more able to cope with day-to-day living.”

He has even gone camping again. “I wanted to get over it, and get back in control,” Phil said.

Momentum Skills,based in Galashiels, helps those who have suffered a brain injury rebuild their lives, in some cases helping them get back to work and live independently again.

Another local resident to have benefited from the support and services of Momentum Skills is Kieran Robb.

Kieran, now 37, was taking part in a battle re-enactment in Bedfordshire in June 2006 when he received a blow from a sword which penetrated his skull.

The injury left him in hospital for four months. He was referred to the charity in March 2007.

“I feel positive, and my speech has come back after I had to learn how to speak again,” said Kieran.

As well as loss of speech, the injury left him with a lack of strength in his right arm and leg, although this has slowly returned.

“I’m just glad to be alive,” he said. “Ninety per cent of head-injury patients die on the way to A&E, so I’m one of the 10 per cent.”

He added: “The charity has been great. Getting together with a lot of folk with head injuries and talking to them has helped get my speech back.

“But, I’m only really recovering now, seven years on.”

Phil and Kieran are giving something back to the charity themselves now. Phil works on their newsletter while Kieran helps others with speech difficulties.