My story Chef Mike Darracott
Hello from the Cornish born author Michael J Darracott
I was an Executive chef for large kitchens I write recipe columns for the war cry & Sorted Magazine and am a disabled motivational speaker who works hard at helping the disabled and disadvantaged through my work.
I was born on the 15th April 1956, West Cornwall Hospital Penzance Cornwall England . On leaving school and qualifying as a chef, I landed a job as a chef in the World renowned Lobster Pot Hotel.
It was here in the early seventies that I cooked for David Bowie, Dame Judy Dench, John Wayne, members from the pop group The Kinks, I sat and ate cake I made with Justin Hayward of the moody blues, and a whole host of other celebrities , and rich and famous. But disaster struck my life, at the age of just 20, ( I am now 58 ) when out as a passenger in his car, another car hit ours doing 95 mph.
The impact broke my seat belt and catapulted me through the windscreen, next the car that hit us bulldozed the car I had been thrown from right on top of my body. I was trapped, pinned to the ground with the car across my chest, and my right leg was twisted around the back axle of the car. I was trapped for over an hour and should have died, but god was by my side that night watching over me, and answered my prayer, I was rushed to hospital. I was in hospital for over 3 months, my career was over.
When I came out of hospital in 1976, because back then they did not have a MRI scanner, it was missed that my head had sustained a bad hit during the crash. So for over 20 years I suffered with medical problems, until it was found in 1996 that I had suffered brain damage, and that damage to my brain is known as ACM Arnold Chiari malformation.
Basically the impact of the crash and having a whole car across my head neck and chest caused part of the back of my brain to start to drop slowly from its normal position bit by bit, so I now have a small proportion of my cerebellum dropping out of my skull in a downward track towards my brain stem, if it reaches my brain stem I’m dead, so for last 37 years now I have had to be careful not to get another jolt to my head.
On a daily basis since 1976 to now I have had to live knowing that was going on in my head, it took me years to live with this knowledge, I had to train my mind to shut out the fact that I could die at any time, it was and still is considered far too dangerous for me to have a brain operation in my case, was told I have a 80% chance of death during operation so I take each day as they come.
I feel after all I have been through that I must have been allowed to live all these years to make a difference, so I long to walk out in front of large groups of people anywhere in the world, tell my full story, and show them that you can make it through anything, I am a speaker, and am available if any event organizers want to book me, just contact me, I wish to empower people through what happened with my life
Although I look ok the crash had left me with this a rare brain condition, one I live with to this day. I look fine but have an array of health problems that are hidden but affect my day to day life since the accident so so long ago. After the accident I could no longer be a chef, so all my training and studies were no longer any good.
During this period from 20 years old up to now, my wife and I lost our home we had brought, had very bad money problems, now live in rented accommodation, all because of one accident my life changed, been looking for a break ever since, at the moment because I now write a recipe column for two UK magazines.
Furthermore soon will be in the War Cry across America from September 2014 my recipes are read by over two million people a month, but looking to be a speaker at events around the world to spread my message of hope and support and above all motivate as many as I can.
I struggled with many jobs, but finally decided to become an author, and against all the odds I managed to get my book Proper Cornish Childhood published. The book is about my growing up in Cornwall in the sixties, it tells of the dramatic event that I witnessed, which was the World’s first ecological maritime disaster. I watched from a Cornish cliff top as the 1000 foot long Torrey Canyon oil tanker went aground on a reef just off Lands’ End.
My 2nd book is about me and my struggle with my brain damage that book is called
Life on prescription
And my 1st recipe book is call cook like mum
All my books are on Amazon just click the link below