MARK POLLOCK TRUST
We can’t prevent challenges appearing, but we can choose how we deal with them.
The 17th December now marks my second birthday, a day in 2019 I could have died but got one more whirl on life’s merry-go-round. (I won’t bore you all with the details. If really interested you can read my blog Free Fall: Life after a near death experience).
The upshot is, years later I still know how lucky I am. As part of that injury and fall, there were 4 days I spent on paralysis watch. While 3 of my vertebrae had fractured, a fourth had caved into the spinal column and was about to impact my spinal nerve. I lay there for four days, looking at the celling awaiting surgery, uncertain of my future.
Dr. Mark Dolan came to my rescue with some delicate spinal surgery and with the installation of a couple of titanium rods, he saved my mobility and urinary functions from being permanently impacted. I am forever grateful, and aware of how close I came to both death and paralysis. This briefest brush with paralysis gave me a new perspective and appreciation for the mobility we all take for granted.
I first met Mark Pollock in 2013 when we shared a keynote stage, and he was one of the people who first inspired me to become a full-time professional speaker.
Mark suddenly lost his sight at 18. He spent the next 10 years rebuilding his identity as an adventurer, racing over mountains, oceans, deserts and finally over 43 days, becoming the first blind man to reach the South Pole. The following year he had a fall from a second-storey window and broke his back, resulting in his paralysis from the waist down.
Not wanting to sit on the side-line, Marks new adventure is to cure paralysis in his lifetime. The Mark Pollock Trust brings scientists, technologists and researchers together to collaborate, and one of these projects is the Exoskeleton initiative in Dublin City University, Ireland.
KH Foundation and
Mark Pollock Trust
This project allows those with paralysis or impaired walking to stand and walk again, with the use of an external exoskeleton. For some, repeated use can improve their walking to the point they can spend less time in a wheelchair and more time back on their feet. For others, it is a chance to regain a sense of self, to simply to be able to stand and put one foot in front of the other, a privilege we all take for granted.
The KH Foundation is proud to be contributing to this amazing project.