A MENTALLY-impaired man who has been at the centre of a social services wrangle has finally been transferred to a rehabilitation unit.
Karl Swain, 27, fell through a factory roof in Hull at the age of nine and plunged into a coma. As a result he now suffers from temporal limbic abnormality which causes him to be impulsive, uninhibited and unaware of how to control himself.
Doctors say Karl, of Blackburn Road, Great Harwood, is not brain-damaged and he does not have mental, physical or learning disabilities.
The Swain family moved from Hull to Hyndburn six years ago but neither council would accept responsibility for Karl's care as his condition is not recognised under the remit of social services.
However, on Wednesday Karl was transferred to Westmead House, a private brain rehabilitation unit in Birmingham.
His dad Les claims the 12-week assessment has been paid for by Lancashire Primary Care Trust but a spokesman told the Observer that he was unable to confirm or deny this due to patient confidentiality.
Karl will remain at the unit while staff assess his capability and determine what care is needed for the young man's future.
Les, 53, who has recently been diagnosed as having heart trouble, said: "This is a positive breakthrough for Karl. It's what we have been fighting for but it's frightening that we have had to wait 18 years to get this far.
"I have worked for 18 years for my son; I have put him before my disabled wife and my other sons and the family has suffered as a result. Is my son such a phenomenon that nobody else has the same problems that we are having?
"I want brain injuries to be recognised, I want a public inquiry into how my son has been treated. The system has robbed me of my son.
"He deals with things on a daily basis that we all take for granted.
"He does things without thinking of the consequences and it is only after the event that he thinks."
Karl has been in trouble with the law on numerous occasions, generally after becoming involved in a fight with his girlfriend Dawn Simpson, who lives in Rochdale.
On one occasion, a court heard that Karl had allegedly held a knife above his head when a paramedic was called to Dawn's house following an argument.
His older brother Mark, 30, said he has spent the last 15 years in and out of prison himself and was a recovering heroin addict who decided to give up the habit to support his family.
He said: "Over the last 15 months I have managed to turn my life around. I want to be there for my parents and my brother."
Last year magistrates agreed to put Karl under a guardianship order which stated that he had to reside and sleep at his parents' address in Great Harwood.