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Rooting for Rory after rehab team aids Swift recovery

Rory Curtis and INRU staff
Rory Curtis with members of the INRU team (left to right) occupational therapist Ruth Banner, physiotherapist Sarah Sparkes and speech and language therapist Abi Boulton.

Sport-loving staff at a Birmingham hospital are following the fortunes of Midland Football Alliance high-flyers Stourport Swifts after helping the team’s star striker recover from life-threatening injuries sustained in an horrific motorway pile-up.

Rory Curtis, of Redditch, suffered serious head and skeletal injuries when the van he was driving was involved in a multiple vehicle collision on the M42 near Tamworth last August.

Rory was airlifted to the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Birmingham and remained in a critical condition for a week before being transferred to the inpatient neurological rehabilitation unit at Moseley Hall Hospital.

Following an intensive rehab programme and Rory has been told he can return to light training and has targeted the start of next season for a full return to action at Swifts' Walshes Meadow ground.

“The treatment has been absolutely first class,” said the 23-year-old, who played for Walsall FC ‘s youth team.

“The staff were brilliant to me – you develop quite a strong relationship when you spend two months in hospital.

“I think because I’ve always been involved in sport, a lot of the physio and strength-building work came quite naturally to me and I’m so pleased that it’s paid off and it won’t be long before I can get back to playing football again.”

Rory’s mum Vee said Rory’s recovery is just the latest example of a long-standing ability to ward off serious threats to his health.

“I had to have an emergency caesarean when he was born; we had a police escort to hospital when he had meningitis at the age of seven," she explained.

"Even before he was born there was a scare involving some treatment I needed which would have put him at serious risk.

“So we know very well he’s a fighter and a survivor. But he has needed the enthusiasm and very personalised care of all the healthcare professionals, who have really gone the extra mile to help him recover. We are incredibly grateful.”

Stourport Swifts cheque presentation to INRU
Sue Phillips, rehab services business admin manager (and wife of Swifts goalkeeping coach Lee) receives a cheque on behalf of INRU for £1,700 from Rory and teammates.

Occupational therapist Ruth Banner said: “Rory is a good example of how, with a combination of urgent specialist care and a determination to recover, people can make an excellent recovery from a traumatic brain injury.

“Our key aim is, if possible, to enable people to resume the professional and social life they had before their injury and, as football is Rory’s passion, we’re delighted he’s back in training and will be cheering him on when he makes a full return to action.”

Stourport Swifts players and staff paid tribute to the inpatient neurological rehabilitation unit team when they were sponsored to the tune of £1,700 to grow Movember-inspired moustaches last autumn.