A TALENTED footballer who was forced to step down as captain of Tiverton Town after a brutal city centre attack left him with a fractured skull is running the London Marathon to raise funds for brain injury sufferers.
Adam Faux, 30, from Seaton, decided to enter the marathon last summer, just over a year after he was attacked outside Exeter's Timepiece nightclub.
Martin Edghill, 21, of Chestnut Avenue, Exeter, was sentenced at Exeter Crown Court to 18 months in prison for inflicting grievous bodily harm on Adam. The footballer was hospitalised for two weeks and was in a coma for four days.
Adam also suffered a broken nose and cheekbone in the assault on May 29, 2011, and was described as being "lucky to be alive" by his parents.
Four months later he returned to Derriford Hospital in Plymouth, where surgeons fitted titanium plates in his head.
Although still in the Tiverton squad, Adam was unable to continue as club captain. And, although keen to return to work, the nature of his recovery has prevented him from reviving his recruitment consultancy business again.
Adam, who had to undergo speech therapy and physiotherapy, still suffers from headaches, fatigue and short term memory loss.
He has decided to run the marathon to raise funds for brain injury charity Headway.
"From the day I was lying in the hospital bed, and everything was looking pretty negative, I knew I would be able to do any physical challenge I set myself," said Adam, who started running just weeks after the major operation to have the plates fitted.
"When it comes to physical challenges, I don't like to do things in half measures. I knew the London Marathon would be a challenge."
Adam's brother Alex, 22, who also plays for Tiverton, is running with him and raising funds for the cause.
"We've been through all of this together," Adam said.
"Right from the night of the attack, Alex and the rest of my family have been amazingly supportive and it will be good to share the experience with him and be there for each other when it starts to hurt."
Not only does Adam hope to raise funds for the charity, but also raise awareness about how brain injuries can affect people and highlight the work Headway does.
"When I left hospital a representative visited me at home, assessed my needs and explained more about brain injuries and how they can affect you," he said.
"This was incredibly helpful. For example, I was having to sleep a lot and found that this was normal.
"I also visited a day care centre in Honiton and spoke to others with brain injuries. This was very therapeutic and I learnt there were other people out there going through a similar thing, some much worse.
"To have a support network was really helpful."
Although in good physical condition, the attack has had a devastating affect on Adam's life. Not only was his bright future with Tiverton Town cut short, Adam has also had cognitive therapy to deal with the trauma of the attack.
He said the effects of a brain injury are often "invisible", meaning it is harder for people to understand their true impact.
At the time of his accident, he had spent years building up his own recruitment business. He has been unable to return to this partly because of not having the finances to revive it but also because of the stresses of running a business.
Since the attack, Adam has been a voluntary speaker for the Ministry of Justice, addressing probation service staff about the difficulties he has experienced.
"The issues I face, like a lot of people with brain injuries, are invisible," he said.
"It's been frustrating, and I've felt angry at times. It's been an ongoing battle. The marathon is a personal goal but it's also about promoting Headway and raising money for people with brain injuries."
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