I’m a very competitive person. So when a physio told me I’d never be able to back wheel balance, I stayed awake all night practising until I could do it. Now I teach wheelchair skills, and that’s where I met my boyfriend. He is also in a wheelchair, which is really supportive in lots of ways. We have a great time together and travel a lot; we’ve been to Africa twice now. It’s the small things that are important though, like always being at the same level as each other.

I had my accident when I was out sailing in the Atlantic with my best friend. I had just completed a sketch of a lighthouse when I was thrown across the boat. At first I was in hospital in Portugal while they put lots of bolts, plates and bone grafts into my neck. I was brought home by Lear Jet (how cool!) and everything seemed fine.

Then I found myself in the high dependency unit. It was a really dark room and it seemed that they just left me there. And so it hit me, what had happened to me and how serious it was. I felt so alone in my body, distraught and in absolute misery.

Then I turned to drink 

Lucy at a wine tasting session

Soon after leaving hospital I did an art foundation course at a totally inaccessible college, though really I was still thinking about what I was going to do in life. I still am! My accident was only a few years ago so it’s still early days. In some ways I’m really sorted, but I realise now that it’s a state of mind that I come in and out of. I would like to find a career but there’s still plenty of other stuff I want to do first, like travel. I want to do more drawing and painting too, but now I need to be in the right place with an accessible studio.

When I was in hospital I totally lost my appetite, and it’s still something that I have problems with. But, perhaps as a result of having to pay attention to what I eat, I’ve now become a real ‘foodie’. I love cooking and am always trying new recipes. I’ve also turned to drink by enrolling on a wine tasting course which is brilliant. It’s creative and I’m not restricted by my injury. Whilst waiting to do the diploma I’m planning a road trip to the Champagne region, and then we’ll see how accessible those châteaux are!

My life has changed, but then it was always going to. I don’t look back; I wouldn’t if I weren’t in a wheelchair. I see my life in two separate blocks, before and after, and it’s me who joins them both.