Sarah McKinlay tells us about how life was affected when her husband Warren suffered a traumatic brain injury after a serious motorbike accident when serving in the armed forces, and how Team BRIT has changed their lives.
Warren was already in the Army before we started dating. It was very daunting for me at the beginning as I didn't really know too much about Army life. I quickly learnt and was incredibly proud of him for serving in the Forces.
I was working full-time and was nearly five months pregnant when Warren had his accident. I was able to take a few months off work but my pregnancy took a back seat; all my time and effort went into visiting Warren while he was at hospital and then once home I was caring for him full-time. His family would come and visit but they lived an hour away so it was as and when they could. I felt incredibly lonely.
I don’t really think about 'how' I support Warren as his wife; I just do what comes naturally to me. Day to day I support him with his schedules and time keeping and I make sure he remembers appointments and all his kit for races! These are things he has struggled with since his brain injury. I always try and be there for him to talk to, but I also know the signs when Warren's having a bad day and I need to let him have his space, as this is just as important.
Warren has found his purpose in life since being with Team Brit. This was something he really needed as it's given him a positive focus. He’s been able to achieve another level of recovery which has been able to benefit the whole family. Our children, Katie and Frazer and I, all love going to races to watch and support him and to see him so enthusiastic about life again.
I remember when he first went to a KartForce rookie day and was going to turn round and come straight back home again. Thankfully he phoned me and I was able to encourage him to go and meet the other lads and see what it was all about. If Warren hadn't stuck it out and given it a chance he would never of had the opportunity to join Team Brit. My advice to any injured troops or any family members of veterans considering getting involved in projects such as these would be to just go and have a chat because you never know what other doors may open!