Hip-hop Keiron pens ‘A New Chapter’

Monday, 14 November 2016

By GEM Staff Reporter

in Health

A performing arts student, who couldn’t walk or talk after a car crash three years ago, has recovered so well he’s recorded a special new hip-hop track.

Keiron Farr suffered devastating head injuries in August 2013 and for a while it was touch and go whether he would pull through.

Thankfully, the 22-year-old is busy rebuilding his life and studying for a foundation degree in performing arts at Bridgend College.

Keiron wrote and recorded numerous hip-hop songs before the accident.

Now his speech has improved to the point where he has been able to return to the studio to record ‘A New Chapter’, in which he describes the traumatic events in unflinching detail.

The “studio” was in fact a speech therapy room at Neath Port Talbot Hospital – the hospital where Keiron spent months recovering following emergency surgery in August 2013.

“I shattered the front of my skull, broke four vertebrae in my neck and sustained a traumatic brain injury,” said Keiron, who lives with parents Denise and Tony Farr in Brackla, Bridgend, and has a brother and sister.

“I was in a coma for seven or eight weeks. I couldn’t walk or talk, eat or drink, and was fed and hydrated through a tube up my nose.”

Keiron was initially taken to Princess of Wales Hospital in Bridgend, then transferred by ambulance to Cardiff’s University Hospital of Wales.

“Four members of staff went with him and they took him straight to surgery,” said mum Denise. “He had part of his skull removed to relieve the pressure.

Shards had gone into his brain, so he had part of his brain taken out, too.”

The following month, Keiron was transferred to the specialist neuro-rehabilitation ward at Neath Port Talbot Hospital.

He explained: “I had to learn to walk again, which was particularly difficult. Before the crash I used to write, record and perform my own hip-hop music. I was very passionate about this so when I lost the ability to speak, I was devastated.”

While he was on the neuro-rehab ward, Keiron underwent speech therapy, physiotherapy and occupational therapy when he was well enough to go home that December, he continued his therapy with ABMU’s traumatic brain injury service, TBIS.

A multidisciplinary team of health professionals, TBIS offers tailor-made rehabilitation programmes for people with moderate to severe brain injuries caused by trauma such as assaults and car crashes.

As part of its work it has developed community projects with various agencies. One was a project with Mumbles-based Learn Thru Music, which saw a group of patients write and record their own song.

Keiron was among them, having fought tirelessly to regain and improve his speech. He recalled: “My first word was a monotone, very laboured and quiet. I had to work extremely hard to get to where I am now.”

Every year, TBIS hosts a Christmas party during which it celebrates the achievements of the people it has supported.

For last year’s party Keiron was asked to write and record a new track, with the lyrics reflecting his experiences.

He wrote ‘A New Chapter’, with Learn Thru Music course tutor Simon Parton, composing the music.TBIS specialist speech and language therapist Hannah Davies said: “We always say that life after brain injury isn’t exactly the same but there is a quality of life you can find.

“It isn’t about just surviving. It’s about learning to live your life in a slightly different way. Keiron has done that. He’s gone back to college, he’s gone back to his music and he’s doing what he loves.

“He has worked very hard and been so motivated and focused, and taken very opportunity he could to improve his speech.”

Keiron and Simon recorded ‘A New Chapter’ in one of Neath Port Talbot Hospital’s speech therapy rooms. Through his lyrics, Keiron explores the traumatic events of three years ago (“the doctors thought that I wasn’t going to make it”) and how he has turned his life around as a result.

He also thanks his family and friends, and NHS staff “for the work they did to save me, and all the rest from my speech to my everyday life, they’ve helped me improve since that fateful night”.

The video was not only played at last year’s TBIS party but also at this year’s ABMU Chairman’s VIP Awards, where Keiron was invited to be guest speaker – earning a standing ovation.

Keiron said: “‘A New Chapter’ was the first song I’ve recorded since the accident. I have written two others, but not recorded them yet. Music was, and still is, my passion. It’s really important to me – it’s a big part of my life.”

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Article source: http://www.bridgend-today.co.uk/article.cfm?id=109542&headline=Hip-hop%20Keiron%20pens%20%E2%80%98A%20New%20Chapter%E2%80%99§ionIs=news&searchyear=2016