A determined young man who has had to learn to walk, talk, read and write after an accident left him with severe brain injuries, is celebrating another major milestone - a B-Tech diploma in Agriculture.
Simon Hales spent five weeks in a coma after suffering a head injury in a 20ft fall while on a night out on October 22, 2009.
He was studying agriculture at Newcastle University at the time.
After intensive treatments and therapies at brain injury and rehabilitation units, the former Oakham School pupil made an incredible recovery which was featured in Channel 4 Cutting Edge documentary ‘My New Brain’.
Determined to continue pursuing his dream career of farming, Simon enrolled at Brooksby Melton, a college closer to his home in Langham, two years ago.
The 25 year old’s perseverance paid off when he received a Level 3 Extended diploma in Agriculture and a principal’s award for excellence from Brooksby Melton College.
Simon, of Burley Road said: “Going back to college was not easy. But I had a lot of help from tutors.
“While it (the diploma) was not an easy thing to achieve I did it.
“So what I want to tell anyone else who is facing a similar uphill struggle is ‘it is not easy but it can be done if you are determined enough’.
“I would like to get a job now.”
James Fryer is lecturer in Countryside, Agriculture and Environmental Industries at Brooksby Melton College and Simon’s course tutor.
He said: “Although Simon had some personal difficulties his determination and drive to achieve this qualification with good grades was the thing that got him through.
“He overcame physical difficulties over the last two years, but these never stopped him from getting stuck in with all aspects of the course, from sheep shearing, ploughing fields to crop walking and business planning.
“He has a keen eye for sheep and would love to find a career working with them. His caring personality and hard work ethic, I’m sure will help him to find his dream job.”
The Level 3 Extended diploma qualifies Simon for a range of farm jobs. He has also gained the PA6 which qualifies him to carry out safe application and spraying of pesticides.