Ed Jackson

His Story:

In April 2017 my life took an unexpected change of direction, an innocuous dive into a swimming pool resulted in a serious neck injury. Fracturing and dislocating c6/7 vertebrae in my neck has left me an incomplete tetraplegic. Initially paralysed from the neck down, I have been fortunate enough to regain a lot of movement however, i am still currently confined to a wheelchair.

After 80 days in hospital I have now returned home to continue my rehabilitation and get myself back on my feet. The journey I have been on so far and most of all the people I have met, have opened my eyes to a whole new world of inspiration, kindness, selflessness and bravery. I want to follow in the footsteps of many before me and try to take every positive out of my new situation, working towards the things that I genuinely believe in so I can look back in a couple of years time and the injury will be completely irrelevant because mine, and hopefully other people’s lives, will be better for it.

As a professional rugby player, keen cyclist and hiker, I have always loved the outdoors, something that has been temporarily taken away from me. This brings me on to the twins’ whose most recent challenge is nothing short of spectacular. I dream of being able to grab life by the horns again and explore the world like they do and hopefully one day I will.

Wings for life is an amazing charity and I am honoured to have been asked to be a patron for the guys on their upcoming challenge. Please support however you can and help give people with spinal cord injuries a chance to put some more adventure back in their lives.

Jemima Green

Her Story:

I have always had a passion for horses and was lucky enough to have worked for some brilliant event riders. I had several of my own horses which I used to event myself and I knew this is what I wanted to do as a career. However, one night everything changed. I was with a group of friends heading out for an evening in Weymouth when a van coming from the opposite direction overtook and drove head on into the car we were in. We were all very badly injured and sadly my friend next to me died instantly. I don’t remember anything of the accident and wasn’t aware of what had happened until I was bought out of coma a few days later.

The accident left me with severe abdominal injuries and a substantial spinal injury that has left me paralysed from the waist down. I had no idea what I was going to do and thought there was nothing left for me. I was very lucky to have such amazing friends and family that helped me get through my lowest moments. I always said that I wanted to get back to riding and I have managed to achieve that. I even did my first para dressage competition in May this year just two years after the accident. This is what I am aiming for, to get as far as I can in the para dressage world. I was always a very active person and I worried about how was I going to stay active?

What I would say to others with spinal injuries is don’t give up living your dreams. I think its important to keep trying to do what you wanted before and just work out a new way of doing it. I have done things since the injury that I never imagined doing, like climbing Mount Snowdon. That was such a fun challenge that I did with family and friends and absolutely loved it.

I wish Hugo and Ross the best of luck with their latest expedition, it sounds incredible and is for such a good cause. So many peoples lives will improve if their was a cure for paralysis.

Carly Webber

Her Story:

In 2011 my life was turned upside down. I was 22, playing Netball at a high level and enjoying life. On the 5th November I was waiting for my dad to pick me up after a meal with my friends. After having some alcoholic drinks I sat on a low wall in a car park, I closed my eyes for a few moments and I lost my balance falling 15 ft. into a rocky tidal river. Unlucky for me the tide was out resulting in breaking my neck and back. I’m now paralysed from the shoulders done with a C4 incomplete spinal cord injury. Being told that I was never going to walk again let alone move my arms was a huge thing to digest. Being determined, I wanted to prove the medical doctors wrong and I started physio and exercise straight away and because of the continuous rehab I’ve now regained arm movement. Having a spinal cord injury hasn’t stopped me from living.

I started to write my blog in 2012 as I wanted to spread awareness about living with a spinal cord injury. Writing blogs allowed me to gain an independence that I had lost, as I didn’t need anyone to help me type and I could write my feelings down without being judge and I absolutely love blogging! Also, I married my soulmate Nelly in 2015, he’s been by my side through thick and thin.

We are a team and we’re constantly trying to find new ways in improving our lives, researching numerous trials and always chasing the cure. I like to stay in the loop when it comes down to research into finding a cure, so we’ve been to America a few times participating in research which has allowed me to keep a positive mind and it’s not ‘if’ a cure is found, it’s ‘when’ a cure is found. Every day I go to my adaptive gym and workout; exercise has always been a massive part of who I am. The endorphin and energy rush that I use to get from working out gave me energy and allowed me to be my bubbly self. I now get that sense of achievement where I feel I’m doing exercise for a much bigger picture…to get better and become me again.

I used to love surfing, being out in the ocean with just the sound of the waves was extremely tranquil and I really miss it. I’d love the confidence to surf again, I know I wouldn’t be able to stand up but to be back on the board would be challenging enough for me. Having a spinal cord injury has taught me how complex the human body really is, to never give up, to always remember that when you are at your darkest point your worst days are only 24 hours, to keep dreaming big and always live a good story.

I find Hugo and Ross truly inspiring and they are the people who have given me the hope to never give up. The challenges they face show that anything is possible and they are incredibly selfless in what they’re doing, myself and Nelly wish them so much luck.

George Robinson

His story:

During a school rugby tour of South Africa in July 2015, a tackle – made by yours truly -in which I came worse off, meant that I needed to be whisked away to hospital with a complete spinal cord injury with a transection at C4/5level. Before this, my team were winning but we ended up losing the match – just saying…

Following an extensive period in hospital, during which I had my 18th birthday (it was pretty wild before you ask), I arrived home where I pushed on with my rehabilitation, allowing me to strengthen the movements that I had already. This, alongside the help of an extensive support network, I encountered new challenges and began to discover that life post injury can be just as, or even more so, fulfilling.

In September 2016, I went back to school to finish my final year of A-levels. Throughout my “gap year”, as I now refer to it, I knew that I needed to finish sixth form to achieve some sense of closure for this chapter of my life. This is something that I have recently achieved.

During this period of my life, I have come in contact with a number of inspirational people as well as a plethora of fantastic causes. Having heard of Wings for Life and the twins through a number of sources, I realised that what it represents and the message it brings to the world is exactly what we all seek, whether we have experienced a life changing injury or not: determination, courage and a slight hint of lunacy.

I am truly grateful and honoured to have been asked to be a patron for the twins for their latest expedition. Please do support; this is a fantastic cause that gives many people inspiration to pursue own personal expeditions in what ever form they take.