In a split second, Suzanne Edwards’s world changed for ever: one moment she was an able-bodied sports fanatic – the next paralysed from the waist down. But she tells Mary Greene she is determined to make the most of life as a ‘20-something on wheels’    

Suzanne Edwards
'Much as I'd like to think there's a cure around the corner, I'm not hanging around doing nothing'

'Have you ever had your whole life change in an instant? A split second that you never saw coming and after which everything changes for ever?’ asks Suzanne Edwards. ‘Well, that’s what happened to me.’ 

On 26 January 2011 at 8pm, on a surf club roof terrace in Morocco, Suzanne, then 23, was looking out to sea, checking the surf, when the balcony railings she was leaning on suddenly gave way. When she toppled, she fell 20 feet, crashed through a roof on the level below and landed hard on a marble floor. (And no, in case that’s what you’re thinking, there was no wild party. And she hadn’t been drinking.)

In that moment she fractured her spine in two places and seriously damaged her spinal cord. Today, paralysed from the waist down, she deftly manoeuvres out of her wheelchair to stretch out more comfortably on the sofa at her sister’s house in North London where we meet. It has been a long day, her first day back in physiotherapy after a recent operation on her back. 

Three times a week, Suzanne drives herself, in her specially adapted car, once for the 180-mile round trip from her own flat in Pulborough, West Sussex, to her rehab gym in Cambridge, then twice to Watford for still more physiotherapy boot camp (130 miles there and back). Being paraplegic is not just about sitting in a wheelchair: it’s unremittingly hard work.

Read the full story at the Daily Mail