Jason’s Accident by Liz Masurier - Part 1
A moving and inspirational story of brain injury recovery
When I first met Jason, it is hard to describe how out of this world our romance was. It carried me beyond any dream I could ever have possibly imagined, into a new realm of happiness after a life of relationships that frustratingly never seemed to work and a wealth of insecurity and loneliness. Into all this insecurity and loneliness, one day, sprang Jason! He burst energetically and fearlessly into my life, filled with enthusiasm and a boundless energy and capability. In the blink of an eye, I was captivated by this open faced, friendly and good humoured young man who seemed so easy to talk to, so friendly and so accepting. We bonded very quickly and soon our lives were filled with laughter, love and constant chatter. It was an amazing experience to be with him and it felt nothing like I had ever experienced before. Suddenly I had my best friend by my side, and we were both filled with adrenalin and euphoria. It felt like nothing in the world could overcome the bond we had.
JASON LE MASURIER - The Accident
In 2007, Jason Le Masurier was a 39 year old outdoor pursuits fanatic and a devoted Dad with three children and one on the way. Originally from Appledore in North Devon, where he had developed a passion for sailing, he decided to try out a new water sport in Lancashire where his children now lived, and in January that year he had a catastrophic kitesurfing accident on Blackpool beach that almost resulted in his death.
Jason had immense energy and capability. Living in Bristol while the children were young, he had taken on a PhD and qualified as a lecturer. In 2000, the family moved to New Zealand, where he was to take up an exciting new post as Senior Lecturer in Civil Engineering in Canterbury University in Christchurch while his partner, Carol, minded the children.
Jason was popular with his students: approachable, down to earth and innovative in his approach. Following his accident, his loss to the engineering faculty was deeply felt by staff and students alike.
By 2006, his life was split in two: having broken up shortly after arriving in New Zealand, his ex had moved back to the UK, and he had four-yearly trips back to the UK to see his three older children, combined with international research and lecturing at various conferences.
He met me, his current partner, the previous year and we were looking forward to the birth of our son Jack. We had met by chance in Sydney on his return flight to New Zealand from the UK, bumping into each other near the Opera House during a brief stopover. We fell head over heels in love, and were soon planning our lives together.
He was to have the accident less than a year later and spent almost two years in Preston Royal Hospital following his traumatic brain injury in January 2007.
The many complications which resulted included a fall from his wheelchair in hospital, causing another brain injury; the development of near-fatal hydrocephalus (pressure of fluid on the brain) and an infection in the steel plate in his skull resulting in the removal of the plate and its reinsertion many months later.
However, he refused to accept the physio team’s analysis that he would never walk again and after two years of poor prognosis, he astounded the medical team by making almost a full physical recovery.
In this blog, we hope to help other people learn from our lessons and take hope from our story. We plan to offer a bi-monthly blog and hope that some of our experiences and learning may be of some use to those of you starting or continuing on this journey. The journey may be long and difficult, but we hope we can show that it is possible to return to some sort of meaningful existence. We encourage you to take on challenges and never to lose hope, despite the negative messages you may sometimes hear.
Liz Le Masurier
Jason Le Masurier ran the SSE Airtricity Dublin Marathon
Transportation Conference 2021: Managing Uncertainty and Post Disaster Recovery - Jason Le Masurier (09-February-2021)