5 December 2022 | Comment | Article by Cari Sowden-Taylor
We recently welcomed over 100 guests to our third Trauma Conference in person at our headquarters in Cardiff. Partner in our Neurolaw team, Cari Sowden-Taylor, pens her account of this inspiring event.
The event was hosted by Paralympic champion Mark Williams who shared his inspiring personal story about his life journey which led to him setting up his award-winning company, Limb Art, which produces bespoke prosthetic leg covers. We are extremely grateful to Mark for commissioning a Hugh James Trauma Conference cover especially for the event!
Fantastic talks followed from Debbie Bent and Barrie Evans from the Limbless Association who provided an overview of the invaluable support their charity provides to amputees stating that “No Amputee Need Cope Alone”. We also heard from Inspector Jones & Detective Constable Efstathiou of South Wales Police who spoke about the fascinating complexities involved in investigating road crashes.
After coffee and networking, we heard from Dr Jennifer Thomas, Rehabilitation Lead of the South Wales Major Trauma Centre about the developments which have taken place over the course of the last 2 years since the MTC opened its doors in September 2020.
Tracey Lister (who heads up the National Road Victims Service team at Brake) and Nick Simmons CEO of RoadPeace then spoke about the nationwide support these brilliant charities provide to families following death and serious injury suffered through road collisions.
Rhian Mannings shared her tragic, but incredibly inspirational personal story and how it led to her setting up 2Wish which provides support for those affected by sudden death in young people.
With hardly a dry eye in the room, we paused for lunch supplied by Milk & Sugar in the Vista Lounge overlooking Cardiff and the Severn Estuary.
In the afternoon, Lady Marie Dawson-Malcolm from the Spinal Injuries Association charity captivated the room whilst she explained some of the difficulties she has experienced following a spinal cord injury. But she also described how her injury, following domestic abuse, hasn’t held her back in terms of her ambitions and desire to lead an action-packed lifestyle.
Our Hugh James legal session which I delivered with Ciaran McCabe and Abigail Flanagan gave an overview of how holistic support should be provided by specialist solicitors after trauma and how working together with the emergency services, health care professionals, therapists, case managers, charities, social workers and other organisations can really help families after their lives have been turned up-side down.
The day drew to end after Janine Cadman, care expert and case manager, shared her views and experiences about the multi-faceted role of being a spinal injuries case manager.
It was great to welcome so many people to Hugh James for an in-person event, especially after the last couple of years, and to hear from a variety of interesting speakers whilst enjoying the opportunity to network.
A huge thanks goes to all our speakers for their time and for sharing their knowledge and experiences.
As always, if you have any feedback, please email Cari-Sowden-Taylor so that we can take it into consideration when we start planning our Trauma Conference 2023!