Being the victim of a hit-and-run driver when he was seven left Mohammed Danyal with such horrific head injuries that doctors feared he would never walk or talk again.
Now 22, he has beaten the odds to get a law degree and, inspired by his own survival story, wants to become a personal injury lawyer.
Mr Danyal, of Shay Crescent, Heaton, Bradford, admitted he was fortunate to have been so young when he was knocked down because it gave him time to recover and catch up with the life ahead of him.
“If I’d been older, it wouldn’t have been so easy. Because I was only seven, I still had time on my side before serious life started – I was lucky about that,” he said.
The memory of what happened the day of the accident is still very clear in his mind – he had sneaked away from his dad while at a mosque to visit his grandmother when he was the victim of the hit-and-run involving a taxi in the street outside.
His severe head injuries left him unconscious in hospital for several weeks and when he finally came to, he had to learn to walk and talk again.
Doctors warned his family he would struggle for the rest of his life, especially with school, but undeterred he went back to his classes and went on to Challenge College in Frizinghall before getting his law degree at the University of Bradford.
He said: “When I woke after the accident, I couldn’t do anything. I couldn’t walk or talk, I kept getting headaches and falling down. It wasn’t easy, but my parents helped me learn to walk and talk again. When I was better, I went back to school and started again. I worked hard.”
Now Mr Danyal is going back to do more studies to get a foothold in the legal world and become a personal injury lawyer. Recently he helped a Manchester law firm JMW Solicitors LLP put together an advice package for head injury victims seeking compensation.
Mr Danyal said: “Just because you’ve had a head injury, doesn’t mean you can’t do stuff. People will try to tell you that you can’t, but you can do everything you want. The doctors told me I wouldn’t be able to finish school, or go to university, and look where I am now.”