A UK scientist who suffered a severe head injury after a car crash that claimed the life of his wife will share his extraordinary journey to recovery at this year’s New Zealand International Science Festival from 5 to 13 July in Dunedin, New Zealand.
Science communicator James Piercy and his family’s life changed forever on January 30, 2011, when a nail punctured the tyre of their Citroen Berlingo while driving along a dual carriageway near Norwich. His children suffered only minor injuries but his wife was killed on impact.
Piercy, who received a severe head injury, was to spend the next two months in hospital, including a week in a coma. Now, almost fully recovered, he will share his miraculous story at the festival in his talk ‘What’s going on in his head?’
Generously supported by the Otago Museum, Piercy will deliver multiple talks at the Museum, giving a special insight into the often “hidden world” of brain trauma.
“My head injury was classed as very severe and my recovery described as ‘phenomenal’,” says Piercy, the Science Communicator for Science Made Simple (East). “I owe my life to a lot of people, some great science and more than a little luck.”
According to a recent study, traumatic brain injuries remain at epidemic levels in New Zealand, with a head injury occurring every 15 minutes. “Brain health, including recovery from brain injuries is a key part of Dunedin’s future as a hub for Brain Health Research and academic neurosurgery,” says Festival Director Chris Green. “Having James share his remarkable journey – and his personal experience of recovering from head trauma – provides festival goers with a real insight into the power of science to heal and save lives.”
Piercy will also give a talk at the Auckland Museum following the science festival.