Updated: May 10
The Accident In 2016 I was in an accident that changed my life. I fell 7.5m from a balcony and cracked my head, broke my ribs, punctured my right lung and worst of all, broke my spine. The complete break in the Thoracic part of my spine damaged the nerves from my T3 vertabrae to T5. I now live my life as a Paraplegic, deemed never to walk again. It was so unfortunate but I am grateful to be alive today. It was a long road to recovery with so many complications after my surgery, I had almost lost the will to live. I mean, what was I going to do now? I didn’t have sport, I didn’t have the gym, hell I didn’t even have a job anymore! Life as I knew it was gone..just like that in a blink of an eye..gone.
Before my accident I played sport, starting with Rugby League, then Rugby Union. I quite liked the physicality of it all and found myself wanting to do better. I joined the local gym and found the fitter I got physically, the clearer I got mentally. It eventually became part of my lifestyle. I was achieving more at work and was more active in my personal life. I just felt energized everyday and felt like I could take on anything. I decided I wanted to join the fitness industry and enrolled myself in a personal training course. I felt that if health and fitness could change my life for the better, why shouldn’t I share that message with others. A week out from starting my PT course and also competing in the National Womens Rugby League tournament, I had my accident.
With the advice of some friends and family I decided to pursue my Personal Trainer career and enrolled in to the course again. Graduating as Student of the year and becoming NZ first Wheelchair bound PT. I started my first Training group almost immediately upon graduation. I started training The Parafed Adaptive Strength & Conditioning group at the Auckland Spinal Rehabilitation Unit. Going on to feature on Tagata Pasifika, then winning the Pacific Health & Well-being award in 2018. I then was nominated for the Attitude Trust Entrepreneur of the Year award 2019 and featured in the NZ Herald, Womans Day Magazine, and TV3s The Project. I have since joined a team called FAM, Functional Adaptive Movement who specialise in Adaptive training. Together we train people with disabilities, spinal cord injuries and cognitive disabilities. Through this I have become a Certified Adaptive trainer which has helped me assist our clients at Ryze with mobility problems. Whether it be bad knees, shoulder injuries or mobility issues due to extra weight. I am able to help them get the same workout as those who are more able but an adapted version of the exercise at hand by stimulating the same muscle groups as those doing the prescribed workout.