Crash survivor Phil passes major milestone

SO INSPIRING: Team Sally, including Phil Holbrook, in action.
SO INSPIRING: Team Sally, including Phil Holbrook, in action.

A MAN who overcome remarkable odds and personal tragedy after a car accident has fought back to complete a major milestone.

Phil Holbrook has completed his 50th five-kilometre Parkrun event - less than three years after he was badly injured in a car accident in which his wife Sally died.

I have tried to set targets for myself, which have enabled me to get to where I am today.

Phil Holbrook

He suffered life threatening injuries in the 2012 accident, and was placed in an induced coma whilst his critical condition stabilised. He suffered 30 broken bones and spent three months in hospital, initially unable to move or speak.

He came home in March 2013 and, with the continuing support of his friends and family, Phil set his sights on the future.

The veteran of 23 Great North Runs took up jogging again and did his first Parkrun in January last year.

He completed his 50th in Hartlepool exactly two years after his discharge from James Cook University Hospital. His incredible recovery has also included other huge achievements, including returning to the Great North Run last year where he competed with five other people as part of Team Sally Holbrook in tribute to Phil’s late wife which ran for Hartlepool & District Hospice.

The team raised £5,050.50 and Phil has reassembled the team for this year’s event and with over ten members and counting. He hopes to beat last year’s fantastic total.

Team Sally’s incredible efforts and Sally’s life are soon to be commemorated when a room in the Hospice will be officially named after Sally.

Phil said: “I have tried to set targets for myself, which have enabled me to get to where I am today. I cannot thank my friends and family enough for the great level of support and encouragement, which I continue to receive on a daily basis.

“My relationship with Hartlepool and District Hospice, as a fundraiser, stretches back over 25 years, and Sally also did several events to support this worthwhile local charity, so I am immensely proud that the Hospice has decided to name a room, in the new Alice House wing, after her.”

Hospice Corporate Events Fundraiser Greg Hildreth said “Phil is a remarkable guy and it’s been my absolute pleasure to know him over the last few years. He continues to inspire others and sends an incredibly positive message regarding what can be accomplished, even in the bleakest of circumstances.

“Not only has he helped himself, but he has used this as an opportunity to help others, which says more about the kind of person he is than I can ever put into words.”

Anyone wanting to sponsor Team Sally for this year’s Great North Run, should visit or contact Greg at the Hospice on (01429) 855529.