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Rolling with the Punches

When life decides to dish it out, it’s not often fussy about the age. In Ian Simpson’s case he was three and a half years old and returning home from a day at the beach with his family. A fight in the backseat of the Holden with his two brothers saw him sitting in the front seat of the car when it was involved in an accident.  Way back then cars did not have seat belts.

This accident left him a quadriplegic, with his mode of ambulation a wheel chair.

Perhaps his saving grace was the fact his family continued to treat him the same as the other children and he grew up overcoming obstacles, playing backyard cricket with his brothers, learning to swim and basically accepting life and what it had on offer.

He soon came to realise that he had the same opportunities to make what he wanted of his life; he just had to work a little bit harder. Being sports mad his only regret was that he could not get out there and play team cricket and footy, but discovering becoming an umpire and goal keeper for footy came a little way towards compensation for his lack of being able to be a team player.

As the years moved along he discovered there was a real issue with people who though because he was in a wheel chair, it made him unable to do many things in life such as train to be a teacher, become a competitive sportsman and live a full and interesting life.

He was amongst the first be helped by the Institute of Sport and was there in the development of wheelchair rugby, a sport that is not for the fainthearted. His competitive drive saw him representing Australia at the Paralympic games in Korea for the first time in table tennis and in later years, as a member of the wheelchair rugby team.

This is his story about overcoming the odds, not just as a quadriplegic but of a man who, while requiring a chair to move about decided he had a life to live and has gone about doing so. Over the years he has had some severe brushes with health issues, the last being cancer, which details the many devastating issues which are all a part of the cure, wheelchair bound or otherwise.

This is a look into life from a different perspective, told with a sense of humour and also a sense of the ridiculous, which has undoubtedly stood him in good stead over the years. His love for his wife Alison shines through and in this no holds barred look at his life, he lets we able bodied folk into a tiny slice of life on the other side.

The underlining message in all of this is life is there for the living; it is up to you to make your choices and get on with it, just simply ‘roll with the punches’!

AuthorIan Simpson
PublisherShort Stop Press