In his own words..
I guess I’m proudest of being a husband to Elaine and a father to Tim. Elaine and I have been married for more than 30 years, she was my nurse in hospital when I had my accident back in 1984, all very romantic. As a family we make a great team and I would certainly not have achieved what I have today without their love and support.
Life as quadriplegic can be tough, not just on me, but those around me, particularly Elaine, but I’m a firm believer in a positive mindset and resilience, armed with those, you have a head-start to achieving your aspirations.
The thought of being unable to sail after my accident when I was 18 years old was almost too much to bear; sailing was not part of my life, it was my life. As I try to exlain to people about my affection for being at sea:
..the real magic happens out there, over the horizon. Only offshore can you truly get to understand the magnificence of the ocean, the wildlife, the infinite skies, the sensory overload from a breaking wave; on one hand the feeling of insignificance as a human being, a mere dot on an ocean, countered by this overwhelming sense of being alive, at one with nature. It is a very private and emotional feeling that I only feel when at sea..
My world today
Wetwheels occupies much of my time today but Wetwheels is so much more than a trip on a boat. I have witnessed how Wetwheels not only removes the physical barriers to accessing the sea but, in so doing, we are helping to increase confidence, reduce anxiety and, by making our boats fully accessible, including steering the boat, we are enabling all of our participants to share those experiences with loved ones. Founding Wetwheels and watching the concept grow across the UK and beyond, gives me a tremendous amount of personal satisfaction and makes me feel very proud of my team.
Many of us fail to reach our full potential, whether in our life-goals, relationships, work or sport, this is particularly true for those less able. I have experienced life as a non-disabled person and someone with a high-level of disability, it still saddens me how our built-environment continues to exclude disabled people. The removal of barriers, be they physical, attitudinal or political, creates opportunities for us all to play our part in society.
It’s not about coping with disability; it’s about finding the reserves we all have to achieve our goals in spite of it.