On the 9th of August 2014 at age 21, my whole world changed. I was out for a motorbike ride when I had an accident, broke my back and landed myself in a wheelchair for the rest of my life. I basically had to learn everything again; from getting up out of bed and getting dressed, to transferring onto a couch and learning how to drive. I was told by my Doctors that I would never be able to walk again.
Earlier this year, I proved them wrong. For the first time since the accident, I stood up and went for a walk down a Gold Coast footpath in a Re-Walk exo-skeleton.
The ReWalk is an exo-skeleton which allows spinal cord injured patients to stand up, walk and even climb stairs. It has huge health benefits in that it increases blood flow and circulation, bone density and decreases muscle spasms which would ordinarily result from inactivity.
It is amazing! I cannot describe how it felt to be able to get up and feel free after spending nearly two years sitting down in a wheelchair. Soon after getting my ReWalk I heard that the HBF run for a reason was around the corner I set the goal of completing the 4km walk.
With my family and friends by my side I managed to complete the 4km walk entirely in my ReWalk. I met up with Brant Garvey at the finish line (you know, the guy you see in the HBF ad everyday!). We had a chat and made a promise to compete in a triathlon together this summer!
I am now getting out on my handcycle and track chair as much as possible to prepare for the triathlon… but I think I am going to need a jet ski for the swim section! There could not be a better time for people with disabilities to get into sport with Rio just around the corner.
I cannot wait to join Australia in supporting Brant in the Paralympics..and maybe be there myself one day!