A TRAUMATIC brain injury caused by an ice climbing accident left an adventurous young man in a wheelchair for nearly three decades, an inquest heard.

Nicholas Drawater was trekking through Chamonix in France when he was struck on the head by a large rock in August 1988.

The former Design and Technology teacher at Waingels College was rushed to intensive care and depended on the help of carers to get out of bed every morning.

The 54-year-old lived at Arundel Court in Woodley for most of his adult life, but was found unresponsive in his chair one morning.

His father Terence said: "He was a teacher prior to his accident. We received a call to say that he had been badly injured while climbing.

"He was climbing in the Alps when a rock fell on his head and even though he was wearing a helmet at the time the damage was catastrophic.

"He was due to be taken to Headway - a brain injury charity - on June 26 and the bus driver did not get any response when he knocked the door."

Following the accident, he had an emergency operation to remove a piece of his skull to relieve the pressure on his brain after being airlifted to Geneva, Switzerland.

Drawater had just received a scholarship from the Royal College of Art to study Industrial Design before the tragic accident, which lead to his death.

Despite struggling with speech and vision, he remained an active member of the community.

He was treated at Royal Berkshire Hospital for 12 days before he died on July 7, with complications arising due to restrictive lung disease.

Emma Jones, assistant coroner for Berkshire, recorded a verdict of accidental death during the inquest at Reading Town Hall on November 28.

She added: "There is a direct causal link between the accident and his death. Were it not for the accident he would not have been in this condition.

"He certainly would not have died at such a young age if he had not suffered such a complex injury to the head."