A BARNSTAPLE student who lay in a coma for 17 days will embark upon a 350-mile journey of a lifetime on Friday. Ben Quick, now 22, was lucky to survive a devastating accident in 2002, when he was hit by a car while out roller-skating in Newport, Barnstapl

Ben Quick and girlfriend Susie Williams prepare for their 350-mile walk in aid of brain injury charity Headway Devon

A BARNSTAPLE student who lay in a coma for 17 days will embark upon a 350-mile journey of a lifetime on Friday.Ben Quick, now 22, was lucky to survive a devastating accident in 2002, when collided with a car while out roller-skating in Newport, Barnstaple. He received three rounds of brain surgery and a reconstructive operation at Frenchay Hospital in Bristol where he spent ten weeks fighting for his life. Six years later, the Plymouth University art student will be setting off from campus and following the South West coast path back home to North Devon to help raise money for a local brain injury charity that helped in his own recovery."Headway Devon was one of a number of charities involved in my recovery," Ben told the Gazette."They helped my family and me in dealing with my injuries so I wanted to help raise awareness about brain injuries and their effect on the individual and their family."The trip is one that former Park School pupil Ben never thought he would experience. But accompanied by girlfriend Susie Williams, 23, he hopes to complete the 10-mile-a-day trip, staying in campsites and youth hostels along the way, by mid-July.Susie, also from Barnstaple, said: "I thought he was crazy when he suggested walking home but when I thought about it, I realised it was a really good idea. "We started preparing for the walk by planning a route and putting in some practice and we're now really looking forward to meeting lots of interesting people along the way and seeing some of the most beautiful coastline."Ben has received a lot of support following his injury and we want to make sure that people are aware of the serious effects that brain injuries can have," she added.Headway Devon's fundraising manager Nick Hall said: "We're delighted that Susie and Ben have chosen to undertake this gruelling task in aid of Headway Devon. "Every year we support hundreds of people like Ben who have had their lives severely affected by brain injury."Although Ben says he has got his life back on track, the scars are still visible and the accident continues to influence his day-to-day life. He has lost the sight in his right eye, has problems with his short-term memory and suffers from a lack of concentration resulting from the injuries he suffered. "The short term memory loss is something that causes a lot of problems and I get a lot of headaches, which can be frustrating," he said."It's hard not to think about what happened. But I try not to let it affect me in a negative way or think of it as a burden. Instead I always try to look on the positive side and think how lucky I am."To register support for the couple and pledge a donation visit: www.justgiving.com/ walkbackfromuni or by calling Nick Hall on (01392) 224437.