When I was 18 months old I sustained my spinal cord injury and back then I was one of the first to come home on a ventilator. My parents wanted me to still have a normal upbringing despite being told by health professionals that I would probably be ill all the time if I survived, and I would be constantly in and out of hospital.

I have always had a very strong and great support network from all my friends and family. But my family wanted me home and to have a normal upbringing with my brother who is two years older. They always taught me to never give up and that anything is possible and that's the mantra I've always lived by. They have also raised money for me in the past if I've needed anything and I could not wish for a more amazing family and network of friends.

I met my husband on the dating site Plenty of Fish. It's quite a sweet story because apparently he saw me two years before outside a shop in town.  When we started dating he was working away so he would come down every weekend to see me and stay until the early hours of the morning 

Our wedding was the best day of my life even though it had been a bit of gamble. We’d had to postpone our wedding three times due to Covid-19. I had planned every single detail. Originally it was planned for May 2020 and so it was at the time when they were debating whether we’d be able to still go ahead.  I was watching the news constantly and decided we’d have to postpone it as I couldn’t risk it.

Sarah on her wedding day

I booked a new date in September straight way but by then the restrictions were still going and the dilemma about what should we do. I felt that I’d done a lot in my life so far and my side had a lot of guests, including my old consultant, so we needed it to be right. So it got cancelled again and this time I didn't rebook straight away as I thought there's no point.

When they announced that restrictions would be lifting the following June, we tried to find a date but nothing fitted and my caterer wanted me to wait until October.  That made me think yes but what if this or that and I just thought “nope we're doing it on 26th June” so I rang the venue every supplier and luckily everyone could make that date.  The day was perfect. The weather was not too hot, but dry, and we got married in Lostwithiel church and the reception was in a marquee in my mum and dad's field. Although dancing on the dancefloor was restricted we had a whole field so it was perfect!

The church set up for Sarahs wedding  The marquee set up for Sarahs wedding

Afire Love

I decided to start my own business because I love planning events. I've planned birthdays and a few weddings as well as my own. When planning events I just love starting with an idea and then watching it come to fruition and come to life. I love seeing the end result and the smiles on people's faces makes everything worthwhile. From my position as somebody with a disability, I like to help others and reach out to people who feel they can't do anything or are unsure about what they can do.

Afire Love got its name because it’s the idea of setting events afire with love and putting your passion and effort into something you love and feel passionate about. At Afire Love we believe we can create opportunities for those who feel like there are no opportunities out there for them. We have something for everyone and if they have their own ideas we can create it. We’ve organised 25 events and have quite a lot planned for next year.

My vision is to get more involved with disabled people and mental health and creating events that are inclusive.

I also want to give everyone a purpose and expand our networks and knowledge base to promote those areas in creative ways. I've planned an autism friendly sing along party and I'd like to maybe do a theatre play on what life is like as a person living with paralysis.

Sarah and her husband on their wedding day

Living with Spinal Cord Injury

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