One of my first memories after my accident is lying in a hospital bed with the slow realisation that something was wrong. I felt frustrated by the slow pace of life in the Spinal Centre and eventually discharged myself early.

Just over a week after going home, I had an epileptic fit which meant that I lost my driving licence for 12 months. There I was, home alone and unable to drive. Buses and trains were not accessible so I pushed myself everywhere in my wheelchair.

If I had the chance to go back in time, I'd decline

I noticed early on that, when out and about, people would watch me. Although a bit disconcerting, in many ways I was used to this; as a policeman people always gave me a second look and when on my police horse I was often the centre of attention. I persuaded myself that it was just because people were interested that they watched me, not because they thought I looked a freak.

I went back to work and for the first year I was at a local police station answering non-emergency calls. Then I moved up to Scotland Yard answering 999 calls and working on the main radio channels. A change in policy forced me to retire, but luckily I got a job straight away as a civilian doing exactly the same thing. Unfortunately it was for less money.

Man in wheelchair outside New Scotland Yard Police Station

Whilst still in hospital my thoughts turned to sex or the future lack of it. If I couldn’t even walk, how was I going to have sex? No woman would ever be attracted to me. But then I met Susie and we got married. Susie already had three small children and bringing them up would be a challenge for anybody. Surprisingly though, I seem to have found it no harder than anyone else would. At no time has my disability been an issue.

Of course I do miss some things; Susie and I occasionally say how nice it would be to go walking along country tracks rather than pavements and I miss being able to ride my horses like I used to. There have been times I haven’t been able to share some things with the family, but these occasion are few and far between and far outweighed by the positive experiences.

I can honestly say that my life has never been better and, if offered the chance to go back in time, I would decline. I simply can’t imagine myself being this happy.