AN INSPIRATIONAL Shirley footballer who defied death aged 15 is marking the tenth anniversary of the incident by raising funds for charity.
Charlie Fogarty is hoping to raise £5,000 for Birmingham Children’s Hospital, The Children’s Trust and his own Charlie Fogarty Foundation.
And he’s organising a special charity football match in July to support the campaign.
Charlie’s ordeal began in 2012 when he was rushed to Birmingham Children’s’ Hospital after being hit by a car.
When his neuro-surgeon first looked at his injuries he was amazed at his survival.
The aspiring footballer was in an induced coma for 11 days and spent four months in intensive care and a further six months in a specialist brain rehabilitation unit.
The injuries left Charlie needing to learn how to talk, walk, dress, and perform basic tasks again.
Since then he has defied the odds, set up a charitable foundation and received an MBE in 2018 for services to young people in Solihull.
“It’s hard to believe that it’s been ten years since the incident. Back then I was just a normal kid dreaming of becoming a footballer,” he said.
“Suddenly life as a teenager was anything but ordinary. There was a lot of anger and emotion at what has happened.
“Over the years there have been a lot of challenges and a lot of tears, both of despair but also joy.
“I’ve been so lucky to have amazing support, whether that be from emergency services, doctors, during my rehab or through managing my settlement.
“Because of that, I wanted to try and give something back.”
Before the accident, Charlie was a member of Birmingham City Football Club youth academy and had already represented Northern Ireland at various age groups.
Once discharged he set up and became the player-manager of the open-age disability team at Solihull Moors Football Club and has returned to international football, playing for Northern Ireland at the Cerebral Palsy World Cup.
Last year he called for the Acquired Brain Injury (ABI) Private Members’ Bill, sponsored by Chris Bryant MP, to be passed to help others like him.
His fundraising campaign is being backed by law firm Irwin Mitchell.
Joanna Grewer, who represents Charlie, said: “We’re delighted to be supporting this fundraising campaign as it will boost three incredibly important organisations.
“Donations will also ensure other people get the support that they need to get the very best from life.”
To add your donation click here.