A man who suffered terrible injuries when he was hit by a car and left for dead said he is now trying to focus on his future.

Mads Vallestad, 30, was struck by the car which mounted the pavement in Rusper Road, Horsham, as he was on his way back from a holiday in Italy.

The driver of the blue Ford Fiesta left the scene.

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The Argus: He had another surgery this year

Mads was found unconscious and his suitcase, which had been dragged by the vehicle, was 200 metres away.

He suffered numerous injuries including a fractured skull and a traumatic brain injury and spent six weeks in hospital including two weeks in an induced coma in intensive care.

The electronics engineer, who had been working hard to buy a house at the time, also had to have a portion of his skull removed as part of his treatment.

His parents Terje, 63, and Berit Vallestad, 65, flew back from Australia to be with their son.

The accident happened on October 16, 2022, at around 9.30pm. Mads was finally discharged from hospital on November 27.

The Argus: He was enjoying a holiday in Italy days before the incident

For more than a year he had to wear a helmet to protect his skull when he was standing or walking.

He was forced to give up karate, biking and golf during that time and is still unable to work full time.

He had further surgery in January this year to repair damage to his skull and fit a titanium plate.

The 30-year-old also suffered facial fractures, a broken right collarbone, and big toe from the incident.

Mads, who lives in Horsham, said: "Although I feel lucky to be alive every aspect of my life changed that night.

"I was left for dead and I feel it’s only because of the actions of those who came to my aid and the emergency services and doctors that I survived.

The Argus: Mads is determined to get his old life back

“I spent six weeks in hospital but that was just the start of it. Once home I continued to suffer with problems and went from being an independent and outgoing person to one reliant on my family.

“The trauma my brain suffered still affects me now. While I’m making progress in my recovery I still struggle with reading, my speech and remembering things.

“I’ll always be upset and angry at what happened and how the driver left the scene.

"However, I want to focus on my recovery and my future.

"I know I still face many challenges, but I’m determined to do everything I can to reclaim more of my old life.

"The support I’ve had from my friends and family but also my rehab team has been amazing. I couldn’t have made the progress I have without them.

The Argus: Mads with his parents and siblings who have been a massive support system

“I just hope that by speaking out people who may be in a similar situation don’t feel they have to go through it alone. Help and support is available.”

After the collision, Sussex police were able to identify and trace the driver after fragments of the Fiesta were found at the scene.

CCTV footage also showed the vehicle driving on the wrong side of the road.

Nasko Naskov admitted causing serious injury by dangerous driving. He was handed a three-year jail term and six and a half year driving ban in April.

Mads is now sharing his story to support Action for Brain Injury Week, organised by the charity Headway.

Irwin Mitchell solicitors secured a payment for Mads to help fund his special rehabilitation support.