‘We’re lucky to have him still’ - parents of injured speedway star recall their journey
PUBLISHED: 08:01 22 August 2019 | UPDATED: 08:01 22 August 2019
“It’s a whirlwind of emotions. It’s nothing any parent can be prepared for.”
The lives of Claire and Chris Norris have changed drastically in the last two months after their son, Sam, suffered a serious head injury following a collision at a British Youth Speedway Championship race in Scotland in June.
Claire spoke to the Reporter about Sam's recovery and how the ordeal has effected both her and her family.
"He's making so much progress on his journey," said Claire. "We're lucky to have him still."
The support that the Norris family, from Linton, have received from across the world has also played a big role in their journey. There's an official Facebook page, run by Claire and Chris, about Sam's recovery, which has been inundated with messages of hope. "For the parents it's given us so much support; we feel like we're not alone," said Claire.
Both Claire and Sam are at the brain injury rehabilitation centre at the Children's Trust in Tadworth, Surrey, where Sam will be based for the next three months as he undergoes treatment.
The centre provides treatments such as physical and occupational therapy to children who have acquired brain injuries, like Sam's. Claire described the centre as "outstanding" and said the whole ordeal has been "a very humbling experience".
It has also given Sam the opportunity to interact with other teenagers who are going through similar situations to him. Claire said how nice it was to see them all "spur each other on" and that Sam, especially, had been a big motivator for the rest of the centre.
Claire said: "Other children don't want to use their wheelchairs because of seeing Sam walk."
After making so much progress in just two months, Sam hopes to one day race again. Claire said the 15-year-old sees the whole incident "as if its a little blip in his racing career". But it may not be as simple as that as the family still don't know whether he'll be able to return to racing.
Despite this, the possibility is still giving Sam "the motivation he needs to succeed and get better". After all, his love for racing can be traced all the way back to his younger years as Claire reflected on how he used to "pretend to ride speedway on his push bike when he was five".