The last time I saw Ben standing he was in the garage, just before he set off on his new motorbike heading for the gym.  Just a few hours later two policemen knocked on the door; it was absolutely the worst moment of my life.

Ben had been airlifted to the Royal London and when we arrived he was fully conscious with not a mark on him to indicate the massive injuries he had sustained in the accident but he said, 'Mum - I can't feel my legs.'  The doctors broke the devastating news - Ben would never walk again and everything else that comes with a spinal cord injury.  I said to the doctor 'he's going to wish he had died'.   Was it selfish of me to want my son to live when he had such life changing injuries?

You go into survival mode.  You have to be a rock.  As a parent you know you will do everything in your power to make things better.  Life was never going to be the same for Ben or any of us but I knew that Ben could rebuild his life and be happy again one day.  We had no experience of life in a wheelchair but we would survive this.  Ben had become independent by 25 but all of a sudden he was my little boy again.  He had to learn how to be independent again.

Was it selfish of me to want my son to live?

My father had died suddenly six weeks before Ben's accident but there was no time to grieve as everything was focused on Ben and each step of his progress and recovery - hospital to rehab then home.

Coming home 15 weeks later was such a hard time, so many emotions and that's when I broke down.  Just went down like a blubbering jelly one day in the gym.  My GP arranged counselling and I sought help through Back Up in the form of a mentor.  I found it so comforting to talk to someone who knew exactly what I was going through and could explain what Ben was feeling.  I found it such a great help to speak to someone who had come out the other side of such a tragedy.

Ben was introduced to wheelchair tennis while at Stanmore and obviously had a flare for it as he completed the trials for the Tokyo Olympics with LTA's Push to Podium initiative.  Undoubtedly tennis has played a massive part in Ben's recovery.  He gradually integrated himself back into work part-time then full-time and just under two years after the accident he moved into his own flat.  Earlier this year he launched an app to get disabled people together through sporting activities; it's called Perfect Imperfections.

I am very proud of our journey and especially of how Ben has built a new life for himself. It's a different life but it's going to be a good one never the less!

From injury to living in his own flat

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