Mike and Rowan’s Story

Simply put the Foundation has given me a purpose. Since my accident my world as I knew it totally changed and this was emotionally crippling. I felt as though at the age of 38 my life was over, I could no longer drive, I couldn’t return to the job I had held for 14 years and my children were looking after me instead of the other way around. Being involved with the foundation has given me something to look forward to; it’s given me a plethora of new friends and opened my world to new experiences and activities. This has improved my mental health an immeasurable amount.

14 months ago I was involved in a freak motorway accident in which I was thrown from my vehicle landing on my head, face and shoulder. I had many injuries including a break in my neck, my jaw, 7 ribs, and scapula. I punctured my lung, I had two open fractures in my arm and I suffered a brain haemorrhage. Physically I have healed quite well but I have been left with radial nerve palsy in my arm meaning I have limited movement in my right hand and the obvious limitations that come with a brain injury.

I got involved with the Wolves Foundation by going to Offload as I was struggling with low mood.  I was working permanent nights which really affected my mental health. It was a group that I really came to enjoy and it helped me and I felt such gratitude for the foundation for helping me.  I then decided to volunteer for the foundation as a game changer as a way of giving back to the community.

On match days I regularly meet and greet and help the fans get to the right locations. I have also done the score announcements for the ladies team at their home games. I have recently been to the archive room at the HJ and that is something I’m hoping to help out with on a weekly basis. Then lastly there is playing for the PDRL which I absolutely love to do. With the PDRL it’s not just playing the game, I’ve represented the league by joining in with activities such as the recent fireman’s challenge event and at a recent team building event held by the Park Royal hotel.

We have always been a rugby family and are season ticket holders. With such busy lives we really treasure the time we get to be altogether at the rugby. Seeing my son Rowan put his wolves kit on for the first time brought tears to my eyes and recently seeing him play at the HJ stadium was a dream come true. Our hearts were beating out of our chests with the pride we had.

Rowan has just turned 15, he was officially diagnosed with autism when he was 11. He has quite significant social communication difficulties leading him to struggle to “fit in” with his peers. His school is an hour’s drive away meaning he doesn’t get to socialise with school friends etc. Rowan has only ever wanted to be accepted and treated the same as everyone else.

He joined the LDRL team this season and immediately felt like he belonged, everyone is given a chance regardless of their disabilities. He has developed friendships within the team and is now going out socialising with teammates. Last week he even jumped on the bus and went bowling with a fellow player, this is something that as parents didn’t believe would happen. A simple thing like this that other children take for granted was such a big moment for him.