Hello and welcome to my website tetraplegicliving.com. My name is Penn, I'm 43 years old and live in the small Devon fishing port of Brixham situated on the south-west coast of England.
I have been confined to a wheelchair as a C5/6 tetraplegic permanently since 1986 after breaking my neck in an unfortunate diving accident. The severity of my spinal cord injury means that it is very unlikely that I will ever walk again and therefore will have to spend the rest of my life as a wheelchair user. I don't have any movement below my chest and limited arm and hand movement. My disability has not stopped me from building a life for myself, I now enjoy participating in various hobbies and interests that keep me busy on a daily basis.
I created this website in 2006 with the hope that I could help people like myself come to terms with life as a wheelchair user. I am determined not to let my disability get in the way of enjoying my life. Many people assume that high-level tetraplegics have no life and are not able to do anything for themselves. Obviously, there are limitations with every disability but with the help of specialists aids, friends and family you will find that you can achieve much more than you ever thought was possible. Using specially designed steering adaptions I am now able to drive a van completely independently, something I thought would never be possible when I first had my accident. I also never thought I would be able to carry on participating in my favourite hobby of angling, however I now go sea and freshwater fishing on a regular basis in the warmer months. I hope that my website will show you that with a little perseverance and innovation, you are still able to get out there in your wheelchair and enjoy your life, after all we only get one life, we have got to try and make the best of what has been dealt us.
Various Articles of Interest
I have written various articles that explain in detail how I participate in both my hobbies and activities such as fishing and driving my van using joystick steering. A lot of thought has gone into how I have approached not only taking up old hobbies again, but also trying new ventures and activities. Please remember that what suits me may not necessarily suit you, I would advise you to use my articles as a basis for your own designs and ideas. It may be the case that you can simply duplicate my idea and it will work for you, however I would hate to you to give up because what works for me doesn't work for you. One thing that I have learnt over the years is that there is nearly always a solution to a problem
Life Is What You Make of It
I want to make one thing clear, I'm certainly not going to pretend that being disabled is fantastic because it isn't. However, I can certainly say I have more good days than bad. The bad days?, Well, they can be bloody awful, the good days, they make up for the bad days which is what counts. I prefer to live each day as it comes and tend not to plan too far ahead, but that's just the way I live, I've had a lot of problems over the years and fortunately I have overcome many problems, some of them life-threatening so I value every moment of my life and intend to make the best of what I have got.
Even though my accident was over 25 years ago, I often reminisce about what life was like before I had my accident, they are nice thoughts and it's good to remember what it's like to be an able-bodied young lad. Until they come up with a cure for spinal injury, I'm afraid that we spinal the injured folk are stuck like this. The way I look at it, I have two options at my disposal, I can either vegetate in my wheelchair and the absolutely nothing, or I can find interests and activities that keep me active and happy. Thankfully I chose the latter and now I can honestly say that I am quite content with my life. I have plenty of things to keep me busy whether that is outside in the fresh air, or in the comfort of my own house. I have some great friends who share of thunder interest to me which means I can participate in many activities knowing I have a great support system.
Visually Impaired & Disabled Guests
Being disabled myself means I can develop my website with accessibility in mind. I do use a mouse and do not have to rely on my keyboard alone to navigate the website. However, I am fully aware that some people will use the keyboard and/or a screen reader to navigate through my website. I'm looking for disabled and visually impaired people to evaluate this website and tell me if there is any area that needs attention regarding accessibility. Please contact me here and let me know if there's anything I need to do to make the website more accessible for my blind and disabled guests. I will strive to make the website as accessible as possible so please don't be afraid to contact me.