Tell us about yourself: I’m a T6 Paraplegic and live in Pokeno. I was always a driven person and always pushed myself to do the best in any situation. In a lot of ways this would prepare me for my biggest test of all, becoming a wheelie.
My accident happened in October 2015. I fell off a ladder and landed against a wooden fence which then broke my back T9/T10, 9 ribs and a punctured lung. My legs went numb straight away and I knew then exactly what I had done.
I also came very close to splitting my aorta vein, one more millimeter of damage and I wouldn’t be here now.

What does care upfront mean to you? They have provided the service and reliability that I have needed.
I have found them to be extremely professional and reliable which is so important.

How has your accident shaped your time to follow? We learn very quickly to slow down and have patience as we have to rely on others for help. I can’t jump up and be out the door in 10 minutes anymore. It takes us longer to get ready, especially in the mornings. Pace yourself and plan your days out. Try to get out and about more and enjoy your family/friends.

Who inspires you? When I was in the spinal unit I met a lot of other wheelchair patients. It was then that I really realised what you could do in a wheelchair. Look at what other wheelchair users can do! It really blows me away that they can swim, skydive, ride motorbike, race motor cars and cycle the length of New Zealand.

What or who motivates you? I have found it really important to connect with other wheelchair users. You will soon see what they achieve, it will in turn motivate you to achieve new things. They motivate you with ideas on equipment and their knowledge.

Words of wisdom: Take one day at a time. Don’t think too much about the future as it can consume you. The first two years are a massive learning curve. Talk a lot to other chair users, everyday there is more advice about how to learn from your providers, doctors, ACC, medical and equipment. Try not to focus on the things you can’t do, focus on the things you can do. Live your life and enjoy the time you have with friends and family.