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Our Client Chrys: A Traumatic Brain Injury Story of Survival

Chrys Barker was an outgoing 26-year-old. He was a strong, smart and loving son who was gifted at sport and loved nothing more than being with his family. It was our privilege to represent Chrys and, with the help of his parents Betty and Allan, ensure he receives the care he deserves for the rest of his life. This is Chrys’ story.

“When your kids are born, you want to make them safe and protect them. Now that the case is settled, we can help Chrys plan his life better. Chrys is taken care of now for the rest of his life. That's all we ever wanted, for Chrys to be safe,” — Allan Barker

A drive in the car to go into town turned tragic and left Chrys with catastrophic injuries for life that included a traumatic brain injury. Chrys and his cousin Bobby drove away from the Barker family home at Donnybrook, north of Brisbane, in January 2014. That morning, the boys said goodbye at the window and the family thought they would see the boys in a matter of hours for dinner – like any other time they left the house together.

What followed this moment can only be described as a parent’s worst nightmare — the boys had been travelling home for dinner when a repeat drunk driver crossed onto the incorrect side of the road and collided with their car. Unfortunately, Bobby was killed in the accident and Chrys was left in a critical state. He had to be revived at the accident scene, before being air-lifted to Brisbane for critical care.

Chrys sustained catastrophic injuries including a severe traumatic brain injury which left him unable to properly communicate, feed himself or even move without the assistance of others. Now, Chrys is confined to a wheelchair and is in need of 24-hour care. When the time came for Chrys to leave hospital, the insurer at the time initially proposed that Chrys be moved into an aged care facility for the rest of his life. Chrys’ parents Allan and Betty didn’t want to see their son moved to an aged care facility because they knew it was the wrong option for him and believed that he had a better chance for improving if he were at home.

As their son lay in hospital, fighting for his life, they needed direction and support if they were to give their son every possible chance of pulling through and avoiding an aged care facility. Chrys’ parents were determined to not let their son down and decided to contact Shine Lawyers for assistance.

How did traumatic brain injury impact Chrys's life?

Despite Chrys’ severe limitations, his family wanted what was best for him, but they needed help affording the treatment, equipment, care, support and home modifications required to ensure Chrys was given every opportunity to live the best possible life he could. The best place for Chrys was at home, surrounded by the people he loved, with a team of carers all of whom believed that Chrys could improve.

Chrys, Betty and Allan Barker on ABC's 7.30 Report Watch Chrys' story, broadcast on the ABC's 7.30 in 2019.

Listening to Betty and Allan, the people who knew Chrys the best, allowed us to understand Chrys’ injuries and how they impacted him and the family on a daily basis. We were able to fight on their behalf for all the support Chrys needed, and ultimately allowed us to work together with the insurer to deliver the best possible outcome for Chrys and his family.

This meant getting the modifications to the family home and car, in-home support and therapy. It also included one of the largest personal injuries settlements, giving Chrys’ family the comfort they needed knowing Chrys would be well cared for the rest of his life.

The Head Trauma Division are expert brain injury lawyers

The Head Trauma Division is passionate and driven in fighting hard for our clients and doing everything in their power to deliver the best possible outcome for the client’s future.

We are the only legal team in Australia which practises exclusively in brain injury and head trauma claims. Our significant collective experience practising in this complex area of law means we are best placed to secure our clients the outcome they deserve.

We are committed to supporting our clients holistically from diagnosis to treatment to finally accessing the compensation they deserve. If you or a loved one is considering making a brain injury claim, contact us today as strict legal time limits apply.

To arrange an obligation-free chat with a member of our brain injury team, contact us.