I had just moved to London when I had my accident. My back was broken when a drunk plunged 40 feet on top of me as I left my firm’s 1986 office Christmas party. Of course, my parents wanted me to move back in with them, but I was determined not to live in a granny flat in Stafford. So, when some friends offered me a room in their flat, I jumped at the chance. It turned out to be a great decision as I really had to learn to do things for myself.

Working for Aspire helped me with my confidence and made me feel better about myself. I am now happily married to Chris and we have two lovely children. Although I had known Chris for a long time, we did not get married until I was 33. The doctors had told me straight after my injury that I could still have children but I wasn’t sure I wanted them then. Of course, once I was married, I did, and Emily came first. I then miscarried but, after fertility treatment, I had Ollie when I was 38 (quite old, evidently, to be a mother when you are a wheelchair user).

I can't be doing with unhappy

Lady in wheelchair playing tennis with her children

I thought the doctors would want to do caesareans for both babies, but they said I could have a natural childbirth as my injury is quite low and I would find it too difficult to manoeuvre my wheelchair after the surgery. I have a steel rod in my spine, so they couldn't give me an epidural, and both children were induced – with the aid of some gas and air. Of course I had worries about being a mum and I wasn’t looking forward to having to let other people do the things for my children that I couldn’t. But the worry was worse than the reality and I just had to find new ways to do things, like finding a cot which came down low enough for me to lift my baby.

I love travelling and Chris and I are taking the children to Lapland to see Father Christmas. I’m always setting new goals for myself: I’ve tried skiing (I’m building up to a challenging black run), bungee jumping, parachute jumping, hydro speeding, para gliding and karate. I also love hot, sunny holidays but beaches are a challenge to any wheelchair user. Even when there are challenges, though, my friends have helped me not to be selfish and to be more considerate of others.

Together with my husband and family, they’ve got me through. I just keep as active as I can - I can’t be doing with unhappy.