“In 2014 I went back to the same doctor who had told me in 2008 that I would never walk again and I asked them if they would sponsor my triathlon. It all started on Blackpool Beach in 2007, where I was learning how to kite surf. I launched my kite from the beach and while walking into the sea a strong wind lifted me about 20 feet in the air and I landed on the sand on my head. My friend saw it all happen and ran out of the water to find me covered in blood. I was rescued by the North West Air Ambulance and spent two weeks in a coma in intensive care. I suffered very serious brain damage and was paralysed on my left side. Over the following months, I had nine operations on my head with many complications and setbacks. I was being fed via a tube and had been told I would not make any further recovery when my son was born. I spent 20 months in rehabilitation without much success and just before I left rehab the doctor came into my room and said, ‘we don’t think you will ever walk again’. He was very serious, but I refused to accept it and was determined. With the help of physiotherapists and the unwavering support of my fiancée and family, I took my first steps two weeks after leaving the hospital. Nine months later, surrounded by cheering friends and family, I walked down the aisle on our wedding day. If I had accepted what the doctors said, I would never have tried to take those first steps. I wouldn’t have worked so hard to start jogging or ride a bike or learn to swim again. Don’t get me wrong, it took me over six years of hard work, but If I believed the medical predictions I wouldn’t be running the Dublin Marathon this year. The message to take from my story is: Do you see a crisis as a catalyst or a catastrophe? It’s your choice! Thrive in crisis!”
– Jason was told he would never stand, let alone walk again. This is Jason’s story. What’s yours?