Sea loving Kit from Anglesey defies doctors after freak sleep-walk accident

A love of the sea brought life-long sailor Kit Farmer back from the brink after suffering devastating brain injuries in a freak accident while sleep-walking.

Doctors warned Kit’s family to prepare themselves for the worst and friends even posted heartfelt tributes on Facebook, convinced he was not going to survive.

As it was, Kit, 53, was at death’s door and in a coma for four weeks and after he came round, he was told he’d never walk again and would always have a speech impediment.

He’s since made a “remarkable and miraculous” recovery and. according to Kit, his passion for all-things maritime was instrumental in helping him to get better.

Now, he’s about to fulfil a life-long ambition by staging the first ever All-Wales Boat Show with his wife, Davina Carey-Evans, a highly experienced event organiser.

Davina’s career has taken her from the world famous Food Hall at Harrods to putting on the One Ton Cup, one of the most prestigious events in the sailing calendar, when it came to Wales in 2001.

The All-Wales Boat Show, from July 24-28, will be split between the Conwy and Deganwy Quay marinas and uniquely visitors will be ferried between them across the water.

The couple are hoping the event will help Wales grab a bigger share of the marine industry that generates around £3 billion in the UK every year.

But that ambition looked like an impossible dream when the terrible accident happened three years ago.

Kit, who previously travelled the world working in the chemicals industry, suffered the injuries while sleep-walking, something he’d never done before.

He crashed over a first floor gallery at home in Llandegfan, on Anglesey, and plunged 16 ft to the ground, landing on his head.

The impact smashed his skull and pushed his brain violently to one side. As if that wasn’t bad enough, he broke all his left hand ribs and punctured a lung.

Kit said: “I was unconscious for about four weeks and I was badly mentally damaged.  My brain was pushed to one side.

“I’m very fortunate, some say it’s a miracle I’m still alive – it was certainly touch and go.

“Davina  thought I wasn’t going to live and she knew I didn’t want to be a vegetable.

“When I did wake up, one of the doctors  told me I would never walk or speak again.

But Kit defied medical opinion and was speaking again within a few months and is now well enough to go out running every morning.

The road to recovery has been long and hard though. After spells in three hospitals, Walton, Clatterbridge and Ysbyty Gwynedd, Kit’s rehabilitation continued for 12 months at the Leonard Cheshire Acquired Brain Injury centre in Colwyn Bay.

The family has now moved to a new home and office in Beaumaris, from where the All-Wales Boat Show is being organised.

Kit said: “The surgeon is  amazed that I’ve recovered so well given the scale of the damage to my head.

“Much of the credit though must go to the skill of the doctor who inserted a large titanium plate to replace a large portion of my skull.

“I still have a passion for the sea – I love being on the sea, by the sea and in the sea.  Boating has always been the thing I love to do.

“The  two marinas in the county of Conwy are the perfect backdrop for the All-Wales Boat Show.

“It’s  a marriage made in heaven because of my maritime background and Davina’s fantastic in marketing and organising.  We make quite a formidable team.”

In the aftermath of the accident, Davina never imagined that Kit would ever be well enough to be involved in staging anything like the All-Wales Boat Show.

She recalled: “It was a terrible shock. When you’ve damaged your brain like Kit did, it’s touch and go whether the brain will allow the other organs to work, even the breathing.

“Kit was on a ventilator for at least two months so it things were pretty precarious for a long time.

“The surgeon said the likely scenario would be that he’d be paralysed down the right side, have a speech impediment and cognitive issues because of the area of the brain where the damage occurred.

“Initially, in the first year, Kit had no top left skull so as the swelling went, for a whole year, he had no top left side to his head until the metal place was inserted.

“It is remarkable, like a second beginning. The situation was so dire initially that friends posted tributes on Facebook.

“It’s not often that people ‘die” and then come back and see what people really think of them. It was a weird and very strange thing.

“The doctor said is he’s been lucky because he’s got a high level of intelligence and he’s got a hunger for what’s going on so he’s re-taught himself to do lots of things, everything from the basics like breathing and swallowing.

“While Kit was recovering I would take him to watch the sailing and it was the only thing that really got him excited. It kept him alive.

“It was something he was very passionate about and the idea of organising the All-Wales Boat Show grew from there.

“We’re very excited about the huge potential of the event. We’re staging it at the Quay marinas in Conwy and Deganwy so it’s the only boat show that uses the water to actually transport people.

“It’s the first ever National Boat Show for Wales and what’s interesting is how far and wide the exhibitors are coming from – from all across the UK, Ireland and mainland Europe.

“We believe the timing is perfect, too, because it’s taking place the same time as the Conwy River Festival.

“Two million adults in the UK enjoy water-based activities and the marine sector generates £66.7 million in Wales alone.

“Wherever you go in Wales, you are never far away from a river, lake or coastline which is why it’s renowned for not only offering every water sport activity possible but also some of the very best facilities to do so, so it is only fitting that we have our own boat show.

“Conwy boasts two marinas and a reputation for outstanding water sport amenities.  It is also a major tourist attraction in its own right being a world heritage site with its own medieval castle so is the perfect location for a show of this stature and size.

“And with its easy accessibility whether by car, plane, train or even boat, it will appeal to a wide target audience from not only all of Wales but also the North West, Midlands, Isle of Man and Ireland.”

For more details on the All Wales Boat Show please call 0845 123 5438, email or visit

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