Leighton Buzzard man who survived severe brain injury after vicious attack to run London Marathon

A Leighton Buzzard man who battled a severe brain injury following a vicious attack will run the London Marathon at the weekend.
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David Maloney's life hung in the balance after he was set upon by a group of men on Watford High Street after a night out to celebrate his 23rd birthday in 2010. His injuries were so severe, that it took him several years to recover.

This Sunday (October 2), David and his brother, Lee, will be taking on the 26.2-mile challenge, raising money for The National Brain Appeal, a charity dedicated to supporting the hospital that saved David’s life: the National Hospital for Neurology and Neurosurgery, London.

David, 35, said: “Twelve years ago I was in intensive care with my family being told I may not survive. Thanks to the incredible staff at The National Hospital, I did. I managed to rebuild my life.

Left: David with his brother, Lee. Right: David with his partner, Jade, and daughter, Matilda. Images: David Maloney.Left: David with his brother, Lee. Right: David with his partner, Jade, and daughter, Matilda. Images: David Maloney.
Left: David with his brother, Lee. Right: David with his partner, Jade, and daughter, Matilda. Images: David Maloney.

"Life was a struggle day in day out for several years but I can safely say now that I have made as full a recovery as I could have hoped for and feel there is nothing that physically limits me.

“The marathon is a wonderful way to show my gratitude."

In 2010, David and a friend were on their way home from his birthday celebrations when he was attacked. He has no memory of the attack, for which one man was convicted. He was left unconscious and not moving so his friend called for help.

Paramedics rushed him to Watford General Hospital who took over David’s breathing by putting him on a ventilator.

They then transferred him on blue lights to The National Hospital for Neurology and Neurosurgery, a specialist brain and spine hospital. His father, Billy, travelled with him in the ambulance.

Billy said: “We were called by the police in the early hours and told to rush to A&E. I still feel sick to my stomach when I think about it. David was unconscious and so battered and bruised he was barely recognisable.”

David's mother, Ann, said: “When they woke David up from the coma we were so relieved, but the seriousness of his head injuries meant he had a very long road to recovery."

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David had a skull fracture at the back of his head with severe bleeding and bruising in two areas of his brain from a contra-coup injury, where his brain had rebounded within his skull with the force of the impact. He was kept in an induced coma for around 36 hours.

Brave David went home just a week after the attack but needed long-term neuro-rehabilitation for severe memory and balance problems, concentration issues, fatigue and dizziness - debilitating symptoms that continued for many years.

David, a senior operations manager, lives with his partner, Jade, and their seven-month-old daughter Matilda.

In the last five years he has raised over £12,000 for The National Brain Appeal from various running and challenge events.

David said: “I feel a sense of pride and fulfillment when I look back on the last decade and how far I have come."

Lee, 33, said: “The most important thing for me is raising money for the charity that gave me my brother back.”

David’s parents, Jade, Matilda, and Lee’s partner, Maddie, will travel to London to cheer David and Lee on.