A DISABLED South Tyneside man left brain-damaged after a street attack is feeling like the king of the road after successfully passing his driving test.
Chris McGeary, 53, who spent years in special care units, is celebrating after passing his test first time.
Using power-assisted steering, Mr McGeary got through the hour-long test with flying colours.
He said: “I feel like I have got my freedom back.
“It’s a great feeling.
“Now I’ll be able to get out and about and not have to rely on other people.
“I feel like a new man.”
Mr McGeary travelled 13 miles during an open road test, and is now the proud owner of a new driving licence.
And Mr McGeary, who lives in a specially-adapted bungalow in Salem Street, Jarrow, hopes to pick up the keys to a new car in the next fortnight.
The former HGV driver saw his life wrecked when he was assaulted outside a kebab shop in Rugby, Warwickshire, in 2004, which left him with brain damage and speech impairment.
Later, medical problems saw him placed on a life support machine at Newcastle General Hospital.
The Gazette last year highlighted Mr McGeary’s campaign to be rehoused in his native Jarrow, after spending more than two years at Abbeymoor Disability Centre in Swalwell, Gateshead.
He was delighted after moving into his Jarrow bungalow, and life is improving all the time for the divorced father-of-two.
Mr McGeary added: “I feel much better since moving back to Jarrow. I have good neighbours and will soon be able to get about more with my new car.”