In 1993 I was working for a construction company doing a bit of roofing work when I fell 10ft from a ladder.

I realised straight away that I couldn't feel my legs and it was quickly determined that I had fractured my back and was paralysed from the waist down. I was told that I would never walk again. I was 24 years old.

I had to spend four months in rehab at a special unit. My marriage quickly ended - I had two young children and struggled to try and rebuild my life.

The consequences of the accident were massive. Alcohol was the first thing I used to block out the emotional pain and then I became addicted to prescription drugs. In 1995 I suffered a reaction to taking ecstasy and ended up in a coma.

I'm not proud of what I did but these are the things that can happen to you when you suffer a life-changing accident.

When you are that low it's quite frightening what you do to try and alleviate what you are going through. I was a normal guy who went to work, with a family, and these are the consequences for making the decision I did.

"I realised straight away that I couldn't feel my legs"

I was inexperienced; I wasn't a roofer by trade, which were all the signs for something to potentially go wrong.

I was going up a ladder, it wasn't secured and the ground condition wasn't very good. I knew that I shouldn't be climbing it but I thought it would be OK.

My boss went up the ladder first and I remember thinking "this isn't right". It felt unsafe but I still climbed it. I was trying to get the job done and I made a decision to do something unsafe and this is the consequence.

It was a rushed job towards the end of the day and I was trying to get the job done and please a client.

I would say to anyone who finds themselves in a similar situation to speak up if they think something is unsafe. The most important thing is to go home at the end of the day.

We have to strive for a culture where it is the norm to accept that everybody has the right to go home safely to their loved ones.

Jason now works as a motivational and behavioural safety speaker giving talks to industry about his experience of living as a paraplegic and the story of his life before, the day of and after the accident.

For more information or to book Jason for talks visit www.p2bs.org.

Posted: 26/05/2016 14:50:49 3 comments


27/06/2018 12:26:50

Kirsty Kingdom

Such a compelling story- I'll be sure to make sure I am safe whilst doing my work experience.

06/06/2016 10:19:21


See Jason's film 'Proud to be safe' for free here on Youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bzadIyKspc4

04/06/2016 09:55:22

Hazel Leak

There is nothing better than being educated by someone that knows fully from experience and is fully honest about everything.Thats when people do sit up and listen. This should also be done in schools, one bad choice can map your whole life out.Well done Jason you have made the most of your accident by showing people.That takes a special person x

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