“My life changing accident left me paralysed from the chest down. Lots of things changed in the blink of an eye for me, my wife and my family. I lost everything. It’s hard to express how I feel about my loss as every element of my life has been turned inside out. I had to leave the job that I valued and loved. For the first time in my life I had lost my zest for it, my drive, my confidence, my direction.”

Peter was a hugely experienced Fire Officer who had spent his life saving the lives of strangers. But, back in 2014, the tables were turned and he had to rely on strangers to save his life following a serious mountain bike accident. This left him in a medically induced coma for six weeks and the realisation that he would face the rest of his life in a wheelchair as a T7 paraplegic.

Learning to fly had always been Peter’s dream. He stumbled across FSDP by accident and thought a scholarship might just be the catalyst that would allow him to rebuild his confidence and to find the person he once was. He felt a scholarship would give him a new direction to develop himself.

While learning to fly Peter built up a real rapport with his training partner Adrian Walton. Adrian had been in a wheelchair for a number of years and Peter was delighted to pick up some much needed life changing tips; on returning home Peter immediately re-arranged his furniture and turned off his ‘Safe and Sound’ alarm.

“If I can get into a plane I can get back in to my wheelchair if I fall out!”

“What I do hope is that those of you who are labelled as disabled (and we all hate that label) apply for a scholarship with FSDP. I learnt a lot about myself; I learnt that despite my disability I am capable of so much more – I can still do things that are hard or challenging. I learned that I still have a sense of worth and that inner confidence and esteem I had before my accident.”

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