The Malta Independent 9 December 2018, Sunday

Mother of Aberdeen football coach injured after Malta double-decker crash pleads for new home

Thursday, 9 August 2018, 09:03 Last update: about 5 months ago

The mother of the Aberdeen football coach who was injured last April after the double-decker tourist bus he was on was hit by a tree branch is pleading with her council for a new home for her son, 42-year-old Simon Morrison.

Morrison was on board the open-top double-decker when it struck a tree in Zurrieq, killing two tourists.  His sister Suzanne Henderson, 39, her husband Michael, 44, and their two children Kieran, 18, and Kelsey, 15, were also on board.

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Since returning home, his head injuries have reportedly caused memory problems and mobility issues, and as such his home has become inappropriate for his needs. 

He has also reportedly lost his memory, “is very forgetful and he can be quite short with people due to the head injury,” according to his mother.

After the crash, the football coach was placed in an induced coma and was flown back to Aberdeen by air ambulance.  But since being discharged from the hospital last June, his mother Ellen says she has struggled to receive support from council carers.

Since returning home, Morrison’s head injuries have caused memory problems and mobility issues, so his home is inappropriate for his needs.

His mother told the Aberdeen Evening Express, “Simon is back living alone and I’m having to travel to his house two-and-a-half miles away three times a day to care for him, even though I’m disabled myself.

“It’s hard because he has lost his memory, he is very forgetful and he can be quite short with people due to the head injury. He goes to Horizons rehabilitation centre and gets occupational therapy there. He is learning to cook again with Horizons, something he used to love doing.

“He is better, 10 times better than before, but he needs help and I have asked for a carer. Our lives have completely changed and the housing situation needs to be sorted.

“I know they can’t magic up a house but the waiting game is a dangerous one. I’m worried I won’t be here to look after him in the future – I have my own problems.  Knowing he is safe, or has a carer, would give me peace of mind. Simon has never claimed benefits, even when he was unemployed, so he deserves to get a safe house.”

The rest of the family are also still experiencing after-effects of the accident, the newspaper reports.

Morrison’s mother Ellen said: “Suzanne is terrified of double-decker buses and she gets physiotherapy at Woodend Hospital and her husband Michael is completely deaf in one ear.

“We found out that Kelsey passed her exams though and we’re so proud of her.”

Her MP Kirsty Blackman, contacted by the newspaper, said, “The events that happened in Malta were truly tragic for both Simon and his family.  My office and I have been keeping in touch with Simon’s mother and providing what support we can.

“It has been difficult for the family to appropriately support Simon due to the travel time involved and intensive support that Simon had required.  I have written to Aberdeen City Council to ask them to ensure they do whatever they can to make things easier, both when it comes to housing and care.

“I hope action can be taken sooner rather than later as the current situation is completely unsustainable.”

An Aberdeen City Health and Social Care Partnership spokesman said: “The partnership acted promptly as soon as the case was highlighted by the hospital social work team. Staff will visit Mr Morrison at the earliest opportunity to make an initial assessment of his needs and this information has been communicated to his mother.”

An Aberdeen City Council spokeswoman told the newspaper “We are reviewing the case and will be liaising with the family to identify what support needs they have.”

In all, 50 people had been treated for injuries, although the majority of casualties had suffered slight injuries. Six people had been taken to intensive care, including two young British boys.

At least two other victims had been flown to hospitals in their own countries.

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