FORMER Tiverton Town skipper Adam Faux, who was forced to give up the captaincy after his skull was fractured in a brutal Exeter attack, is running the London Marathon to raise funds for brain injury sufferers.
Adam, 30, decided to enter the event last summer, just over a year after he was assaulted outside the Timepiece nightclub.
His attacker Martin Edghill, 21, of Chestnut Avenue, Exeter, was sentenced at the city's crown court to 18 months in prison for inflicting grievous bodily harm.
Adam was in a coma for four days and in hospital for two weeks. He also suffered a broken nose and cheekbone in the assault on May 29, 2011. He was described as being "lucky to be alive" by his parents.
Four months later, he returned to Derriford Hospital, Plymouth, where surgeons fitted titanium plates in his head.
Although still in the Tiverton squad, Adam was unable to continue as captain. And, although keen to return to work, the nature of his recovery has prevented him from reviving his recruitment consultancy business again.
Adam, who underwent speech therapy and physiotherapy, still suffers from headaches, fatigue and short-term memory loss. He has decided to run the marathon to raise funds for brain injury charity Headway.
"From the day I was lying in the hospital bed, and everything was looking pretty negative, I knew I would be able to do any physical challenge I set myself," said Adam, of Seaton, who started running weeks after the major operation to have the plates fitted. "When it comes to physical challenges, I don't do things in half-measures. I knew the London Marathon would be a challenge."
Adam's brother Alex, 22, who also plays for Tiverton, is running with him and raising funds for the cause.
"We've been through all of this together," Adam said. "From the night of the attack, Alex and the rest of my family have been amazingly supportive and it will be good to share the experience with him and be there for each other when it starts to hurt."
As well as raising funds, Adam also hopes to raise awareness about how brain injuries can affect people and highlight the work Headway does.
"When I left hospital a representative visited me at home, assessed my needs and explained more about brain injuries and how they can affect you," he said. "This was incredibly helpful. For example, I was having to sleep a lot and found that was normal. I also visited a day care centre in Honiton and spoke to others with brain injuries. This was very therapeutic and I learnt there were other people going through a similar thing, some much worse. To have a support network was really helpful."
Although Adam was in good physical condition, the attack has had a devastating affect. Not only was his soccer career cut short, he has also had cognitive therapy to deal with attack trauma. He said the effects of a brain injury were often "invisible", meaning it is harder for people to understand their true impact. He had spent years building up his recruitment business, but has been unable to revive it, partly for financial reasons, but also because of the stresses involved
Since the attack, Adam has been a voluntary speaker for the Ministry of Justice, addressing probation service staff about the difficulties he has experienced.
"The issues I face, like a lot of people with brain injuries, are invisible," he said. "It's been frustrating, and I've felt angry at times. It's been an ongoing battle. The marathon is a personal goal but it's also about promoting Headway and raising money for people with brain injuries."
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