South Shields brain injury survivor to tackle Great North Run

Kristofer with his mum, Amanda Johnson.
Kristofer with his mum, Amanda Johnson.

A South Shields student who suffered a brain injury after being assaulted on night out is getting set to take on the Great North Run for charity.

Kristofer Johnson, 20, suffered a bleed on the brain after he was assaulted on his first night out at Northumbria University last year.

Kristofer with his sister Samantha, dad Ian and mum Amanda.

Kristofer with his sister Samantha, dad Ian and mum Amanda.

After leaving a nightclub, Kristofer asked some men for directions, but from that moment his memory is blank.

Friends of the young student witnessed him being assaulted and called the emergency services.

Kristofer was taken to the Royal Victoria Infirmary and was discharged later that night, believing that he was fine.

But for the next two days he suffered with memory loss, extreme tiredness, vomiting, balance problems, light sensitivity and extreme headaches.

Kristofer after the attack.

Kristofer after the attack.

His mum was so worried she took him to South Tyneside A&E for a second opinion.

Kristofer was transferred to The Royal Victoria Infirmary for brain scans and was diagnosed with an acute subdural haematoma, a bleed on the brain.

Doctors feared he may need brain surgery, but after being kept under observation for a few days, Kristofer was allowed home.

He spent two weeks living with his mum and continued to battle extreme fatigue and balance issues, intense headaches and light sensitivity.

But as time went by, Kristofer made a remarkable recovery and returned to his university studies.

Now he'll take on the Great North Run, on Sunday, September 9 - the first anniversary of his injury - to raise awareness of the devastating impact brain injuries can have.

He will be raising funds for Headway, the charity that supports brain injury survivors and their families.

Kristofer said: "I have now made a good recovery, but there are a lot of people with brain injuries who aren't so fortunate.

"I hope that by doing the Great North Run I can show people how lucky I am to have survived and support others."

He added: "I can now live a normal life, but I am well aware that I am extremely fortunate and this doesn't happen to everyone who has a brain injury.

"Many survivors will live with the effects of their injury for the rest of their lives.

"I'll never take for granted how lucky I am, and I hope that by taking part in the Great North Run I can help other people like me."

Cerys Beeby, Senior Community Fundraiser for Headway said: "It's wonderful to see how well Kristofer has recovered and we are extremely grateful that he is taking part in the Great North Run for us.

"Unfortunately, not everyone who has a brain injury recovers to the same extent as Kristofer.

"Without fundraisers like him we wouldn't be able to support people during such a difficult time in their lives."

If you would like to support Kristofer and make a donation visit the Virgin Money Giving website and search for Kristofer Johnson.