21 Today! (Sort Of)

21st Birthday Badge

Yesterday, I somewhat mischievously posted, “21 today!” on my personal Facebook profile.

A few people knew the significance of this, however, many thought I was just making the standard joke about desperately clinging to your youth.

To those people, I apologise… While I’m very happy to join the Queen in celebrating two birthdays, my announcement actually commemorated an entirely different anniversary.

On 26th April 1997 my life changed forever in an instant when I broke my neck in a game of rugby, sustaining a spinal cord injury that left me paralysed from the chest down and needing to use a wheelchair for the rest of my life.

Of course, this was a tough period in my life but anyone that knows me, knows that I believe you can take positives from any situation, no matter how bleak it may seem.

In fact, the 21 years that have elapsed since that day have seen me go on an incredible journey. I’ve met some amazing people and been privileged to have had many unbelieveable experiences that I simply would not have had without that tragic accident.

I see my accident as more of a re-birth than anything else and so I, like many others, reagrd this anniversary like a second birthday. Something to be celebrated, albeit reflectively, rather than lamented.

Although there will always be an idiotic 17 year old kicking around somewhere inside of me, I have now technically reached adulthood as a person with a disability. Therefore, I’ve decided to mark the occasion with a series of 21 videos sharing what I’ve learned about life with a disability.

You can expect the first of these posts in the next couple of weeks (Nothing like social media for a bit of accountability!) and I’m sure that you’ll be able to take something from each video regardless of whether you have a disability or not.

Watch this space folks!

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