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James Cracknell health: Olympic star discusses major brain injury & its long-term effect

James Cracknell, 49, is a rowing champion and Olympic gold medallist. The father-of-three suffered a horrific accident which caused damage to his frontal lobe that was so severe it caused his personality to change.

Rower and double gold medallist James Cracknell suffered a serious brain injury back in 2010 when he had a serious accident whilst cycling across America. 

The athlete was put into a medically induced coma for 10 days with the brain injury leaving him with lasting epilepsy and frontal lobe damage.

Damage to the frontal lobe is known to have a dire effect on one’s life as it is the part of the brain which controls empathy, motivation, mood and judgement.

It can be described as the ‘control panel’ of our personalities and our ability to communicate. 

The frontal lobes are extremely vulnerable to injury due to their location at the front of the cranium, proximity to the sphenoid wing and their large size, said the Centre for Neuro Skills.

The health site added: “MRI studies have shown that the frontal area is the most common region of injury following mild to moderate traumatic brain injury.

“One of the most common effects of frontal damage can be a dramatic change in social behaviour.

“A person’s personality can undergo significant changes after an injury to the frontal lobes, especially when both lobes are involved.”

James was very open about how his injury affected almost every aspect of his life in particular how it affected his family life.

James bravely revealed he had become a completely different person after the accident, something his family members struggled with.

His struggles were even penned in an autobiography entitled Touching Distance in which he discussed the challenges and devastating long-term consequences he endured.

Speaking to back in 2015, James said: “My kids had one dad for six years and another for the last five; it was very difficult for them to come to terms with.

“The accident is something that happened to me, but I’m not going to let it define me – in the same way, the Olympics is something I did but that’s not all I am.

“The biggest challenge was knowing that 80 percent of all people with brain injuries end up getting divorced.”

Sadly, the statistic proved correct with the couple goingtheir separate ways in 2019 andJames tying the knot with Jordan Connell yesterday.

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