name='ShirlGirl']This thread prompted me to search for any recent news of Jon Blake, who suffered brain damage after a car crash in 1986. This from Wikipedia...
(born 1958) was a promising actor of the 1980s.
Blake was born in New Zealand
, later moving to Australia
. He became a popular actor on Australian television
, quickly progressing from a role in the soap opera The Restless Years
(in which he was credited as Sonny Blake) to television miniseries, and films. One of his highest-profile roles was a starring role in the Australian TV miniseries Anzacs
His charismatic presence and fast-rising star led to him being dubbed "the next Mel Gibson"
In December 1986 he was badly injured in a car accident while driving home after the last day of filming on The Lighthorsemen
. He sustained permanent brain damage in the accident, and has been confined to bed and unable to care for himself ever since. After several long and complex legal battles and appeals, Blake was finally awarded $7.7 million in compensation which was used for around-the clock nursing."
(That last statement isn't strictly true. $3 million went in legal fees! He was initially awarded over $30 million but the decision was appealed.)
Like many others, I thought he was in a permanent coma, or a vegetative state, but a friend of his posted this in the Australian Lighthorse Association Forum a couple of years ago:
"I would like to clear up the misconception that Paul (Jon's real name) is a "vegetable and a quadraplegic". He does have an acquired brain injury from his accident that has left him in what is medically called a "locked-in state". He recognises family and friends, and communicates via blinking a number of times for "yes" and a different number of times for "no". He is also able to give a "thumbs-up" response to questions. He spends his day in bed and arm chairs, has regular baths and although he needs to be fed he does not need any tubes for feeding and eats from a spoon. He is able to watch TV, and enjoys music and being read to, and obviously enjoys the company of people he knows. He is regularly visited by his son and close friends.
His mother was amazing. At one time a violinist with the Sydney Symphony Orchestra, she cared for him constantly for 21 years until her death two years ago at the age of 82.
There are two photos of him here....
Disabled actor farewells Mum