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Lucy to be ALIVE


Gee I’m lucky! There’s no longer a day in my life when I am not surrounded by incredibly beautiful, genuine and inspiring people who become constant reminders to me of the opportunities life has to offer us and how grateful we can all be for the simple things we have around us. There’s one moment in each day I lead that I spare a thought for someone who has taught me, inspired me, or given me strength, courage and determination through their words or actions to allow me to develop and mature as a young person, athlete and human being.

So today, I spared a thought for someone who reminds me of the word ‘gratitude’, he who opened my eyes to remembering to be thankful for all that we have and reminds me of the preciousness of this thing called ‘life’.  This brings me to tell you a little story about a man who I believe carries the strength of a true soldier and the determination of a warrior and his unbelievable courage which carried him from his then grave to his now energetic and positive life…. So please read on.
A dear family friend of ours had been a busy and successful man, married with children, worked hard as a dentist in his own establishment and in his spare time enjoyed active holidays and aquatic sports. On one of his days snorkeling at a reef, he was caught in a fish feeding frenzy and suffered a small bite from a fish.

Not thinking much of this bite, he went home about his business and carried on like we all tend to do. It was not until a few days had passed that he was in hospital in the intensive care unit in an induced coma, fighting for his life. A form of bacteria had spread through his bloodstream which became septic affecting his vital organs and putting his body into complete turmoil. The doctors were dumbfounded by his condition. His skin began to peel away like sheets of seaweed, his eyes were sunken, his voice was weak and he appeared far older than his 56 years. His survival was doubtful and his outcome completely unknown. The infection spread to his left leg, which was soon amputated just below the knee, and a shunt was placed in his heart. The duration of his life appeared to be not much longer than this article, but he proved us all wrong.  

Today, I visited him at work, where he greeted me with a big smile, a kiss, and stories of his snorkeling holiday in Fiji with his wife. We had a laugh about ‘octoshark’ (check it out on youtube!) and a bit of a giggle over the fact that he has been through more than one prosthetic leg since being fitted with one. His active lifestyle and determination appear to ‘wear out’ his pseudo leg. Like any good horse rider who has a fall, he got back in the ocean where he was once bitten and thought nothing of it.

This miraculous recovery and story of his life is a gentle reminder to me to be grateful for the fact that I have four limbs, a body, a mind and a heart and soul – and mine are all in perfect working order. For years I have taken this for granted. Wished away my ‘everything but model’ legs, stumpy hands, flat chest and pudgy waistline. The physical and mental abuse some of us put ourselves through to ‘look better and be better’ becomes exhausting… and for what? To prove what? A special friend of mine (for whom I also spare a thought) once said to me ‘Our body is simply a vessel to carry us around in’ and this has stuck with me for a long time, particularly when the going gets tough and the mind starts telling you all the things you don’t like about yourself. The complexity of the human body, the way in which it works, its ability to communicate, recover, heal, and perform is simply mind-blowing and it’s in many ways a tragedy that so many people in this life take that for granted.

Next time you have a bad day, or the going gets tough, or your mind wallows in negativity and stress and shame and
blame, do yourself a favour and spend a few minutes writing a gratitude list… everything or everyone you are grateful for having in your life. Add to it. Reflect on it. Digest it. And remember; my dear friend had limits, but he now lives life without limits, why aren’t you doing the same?
I’d like to take this time to thank Tim personally for allowing me to share his story and also for the strength and hope he has instilled in me since his life changing accident. Tim you are a true inspiration and a true fighter. It is an honour to know you and hear of your successes and I wish you a continuing life of rich opportunity, warm thoughts and happy health!


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Reader Comments (1)

Having thoughts and feelings about gratitude is great however people need a mechanism to reach out to others with gratitude. The philosophy of giving to give is here.

February 26, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterMike

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