A FORMER Dorset Police officer who sustained life-changing injuries in a cycling crash has joined a national brain injury awareness campaign.

David Baker, 49 and from Wareham, was involved in a serious incident while cycling home from work in 2016.

He has no memory of the accident but has pieced the events together with the help of onlookers and photographs taken at the scene.

He said: “As I was cycling along, a transit van overtook me and turned onto its driveway. I had no time to react, apparently, and I went head-first into the side of the van.”

Despite wearing a cycling helmet that David said ‘100 percent saved his life’, he sustained a traumatic brain injury and his life was forever changed.

At the time of his crash, David worked as a detective with Dorset police, but his injuries were so severe that he never returned to the force.

He continues to experience severe visual problems, including double vision, meaning he needs to wear an eye patch to help with his balance.

Having left the police, David discovered a love of photography, and enrolled on a photography course before completing a commercial photography degree at the Arts University in Bournemouth.

He’s now sharing his story as a part of action by Headway – the brain injury association - for Brain Injury Week, which runs May 20-26.

This year’s campaign A Life Re-Written explores the impact brain injury has and how it can alter people’s sense of identity.

It is fronted by BBC The Traitors star Andrew Jenkins, who sustained a brain injury following a car crash.

Andrew interviewed David as part of the campaign.

David said: “I think anybody who has a brain injury needs to have the support of other people, but you also need to do things that get you speaking about what’s happened to you. Getting on with life and socialising and not hiding away.”

He added: “For me now, my identity isn’t as a police officer, it’s as a photographer.

"I think without it, I’d probably dwell too much on the past and what could’ve been and what should’ve been, as opposed to what life can be now.”