Carl was 32 when he skidded on mud throwing him off into a ditch at the side of the road. He instantly couldn’t feel his legs and was paralysed from the chest down. A passing motorist went to Carl’s aid and he was taken to Stoke Mandeville Hospital.

"I had to learn how to do practically everything again.”

He said: “I remember asking whether I’d be in overnight, but the reality was that I stayed in the Spinal Injury Centre for seven months. It was a really crushing time. I had to learn how to do practically everything again.”

During his stay at Stoke Mandeville Carl talked to an Independent Living Advisor who introduced him to Aspire Grants. Carl applied for a grant to help him purchase an electric Batec hand bike so that he would be able to get around independently when he returned home.

He told us: “It’s really hilly around where I live. Propelling my wheelchair with my arms is so tiring and it’s near impossible to get up the steeper slopes.

“When I found out I’d been successful in part funding for the bike, it made me feel like ‘wow’, just an amazing feeling. If I’d not been successful, I’d have had to wait a couple pf years before being able to afford one myself.”

Carl, his partner and daughter

After months of operations and treatment Carl moved back home permanently with his partner and decided to start a family. After being rejected from IVF in the UK, the couple went to a clinic in the Czech Republic, and on the second attempt, Sienna was conceived.

"This gives me the ability to connect with Sienna and have precious one on one time with her without worrying about anything else."

Carl added: “Since receiving the grant from Aspire and getting the bike, life has turned itself around. It gives me far more independence. I can ‘nip’ to the shops, and go virtually anywhere I choose.  I can even go out in the dark and the best part is having the freedom to take my daughter out at the same time as directing my wheelchair, so this gives me the ability to connect with Sienna and have precious one on one time with her without worrying about anything else. I am looking forward to exploring new places with my daughter.”

Find out more information about Aspire Grants