Conor Lynch, who was 20 at the time of the incident in September 2017, was a passenger alongside Oliver Brammah, who was 17, in a car that collided with a wall on Haverlands Lane, Worsbrough.
The friends, who are both from Hoyland, were rushed to hospital and scans revealed Conor had sustained fractures to his spine, collarbone and left shoulder blade, as well as a head injury, while Oliver was placed in an induced coma due to the severity of his injuries which included a severe traumatic brain injury and a fractured pelvis.
Conor, who was wheelchair-bound for months, has defied doctors to walk again and has competed in a triathlon series for people with disabilities and while Oliver suffers from significant cognitive, emotional and behavioural problems due to his brain injury, he has even resumed playing football.
Conor said: “Recovering from the crash hasn’t been easy for me or my family - I find it particularly hard to concentrate and I suffer from fatigue and memory loss.
“I was told that I may never walk again, but I proved the doctors wrong.”
The pair have spoken out about their harrowing stories as part of this year’s Action For Brain Injury Week, which runs until Sunday.
Oliver added: “I am determined to get my life back and be able to do things for myself but it’s hard because I get really, really tired at times. I get very angry and frustrated and I have no patience now - I wasn’t like that before.
“I struggle with fatigue and I often have to sleep periodically throughout the day. I can’t concentrate for long periods of time because I get confused. If I talk to people when I’m tired, I can see their lips moving but, at times, I have no idea what they are saying.
“I know I have to get on with my life and make it the best that I possibly can. I am working hard on that with my therapy team.
“Football is my passion and I was gutted when they said I couldn’t play after the crash. I know I can’t head the ball but I have been able to start playing again, even if it’s not in the same way as before. It’s taken a long time but it is worth it.”
Conor, reports that he has noticed his senses are reduced since the crash.
However, he is working hard on his independent living skills with his occupational therapist and is aiming to return to driving and baking.
His parents Karen and Andy have completed an annex on their home for Conor to move into until he is able to live independently.
Rachel Cox, specialist serious injury lawyer at Irwin Mitchell representing Conor, said: “Brain injuries can continue to impact on people’s lives many years after they were originally hurt.
“Action for Brain Injury Week is an important time to raise awareness of the challenges that those affected can face, and of the support available to them.
“With the right support, many people with brain injuries go on to lead relatively independent lives.”