So I had the utmost respect for my friend Lewis, from, Headway Gloucestershire, for going first in our project - being our guinea pig.
One thing I must say is how incredible he is.
He - like every brain injury survivor I have met at Headway - is quite simply inspirational.
He is also one of my favourite "visual" people.
Without trying to sound weird, but such is my fondness for him I want to create an entire graphic novel about him and brain injuries (niche or what?!) - but more on that at a later date, hopefully.
The main thing which appealed to me about this project was (as well as collaborating with my incredible wife) firstly, shining a light on brain injuries - something which does not get its' due in society.
Secondly, and probably because of the first reason, was celebrating achievement. Anything which may be a big deal to me pales into insignificance in comparison to other brain injury survivors.
For example, Lewis considers his main obstacle to be his speech - something which I will not lie to you - is noticeable, but not massively.
That is probably testament to the hard work he has done on it to get it to the level it is at.
He has had numerous "SALT" sessions for this, which stands for Speech And Language Therapy.
Like me, you probably won't give a monkeys about it, and I'm sure Lewis would be complimented by that, but believe me when it is you who is inside of that body with those difficulties, you notice it. A. LOT.
I was also impressed with how he coped with having a stranger around him - my amazing wife.
Thank the lord he did not drop her a chat up line, because believe me, he is far better looking/cooler than me!
He had never met Amy before, and would have been nervous heading into the project anyway because of the ambiguity of it. So to then have a completely new person invade his world would have, naturally, increased his apprehension, I'm sure.
As I have said numerous times before, when you have suffered a brain injury, you feel you have no place in society anymore. Therefore, when you can strike up a connection with someone, you feel part of the world again or "worthy."
Your confidence is obliterated, your self-worth decimated.
Hence when you achieve something, it means the world to you.
Lewis' biggest achievement - and I cannot stress this enough - is his speech.
Imagine being "locked" inside a body or "vessel" where you cannot speak.
When you are in pain, you cannot scream out.
When you want something, you cannot ask for it.
The power of speech is definitely underrated because it seems so simple.
This is often the nature of brain injury - taking the simplest of things and making it the most difficult thing in the world to climb.
My "Everest" was learning to walk again.
Lewis' "Everest" was learning to speak again.