This was a real move forward for the peace movement and I went to Belfast to see if we could, as an organisation, help the process of bringing Protestants and Catholics together. The first visit went well and after a day we had organised a rally for the Saturday and placed an advert in the paper. The Rally was a success and 300 turned up! I was to come back the following week to speak to a group of church leaders from all denominations to discuss with strategy with them.
However, the day before, we heard that the Air Controllers at Heathrow had gone on strike and all planes were grounded. After hours of phoning around we found one plane still flying. We booked the last two tickets available. The next morning I rose early and one of our members drove myself and my companion Breda to Watford Station.
We were half an hour early, it was 5.30am. While waiting I nodded off to sleep and Breda woke me at 6am. We walked to the platform and saw the train leaving! I suppose I reacted foolishly and ran for the train; it was the old type with door handles. As I reflect back, I know there was no rational thought at that moment.
The result was that I slipped and fell under the wheels of the last carriage. As I went down I remember thinking, “Oh God! What have I done?”. It was too late. The last carriage rumbled over me, slicing my left leg and smashing my right leg below the knee. I lost blood at an enormous rate. As the blood was being pumped onto the tracks I was calling out “Jesus – Jesus – Jesus”.
Two railway staff quickly jumped onto the track and one tourniqued the right leg while the other just held what was left of the left one till the Ambulance came a few minutes later. Had I been further from the Hospital I would surely have died there and then. In the ambulance I blacked out as the Paramedics administered a gas to alleviate the pain.
I thought I was dying and committed my spirit to God. A few moments later I woke in the Emergency Room and the pain returned. Five hours later I was in the Intensive Care Unit after surgery.
My life hang by a thread for a week. After that I was in the General ward and back home in two months.
A year later I had mastered the art of using Prosthesis (artificial legs) and for many years used them to live an independent life and continue to work as a Pastor. Now I have vertigo resulting from an inner ear infection so use the wheelchair to get around but am still very active and independent. It’s because of the wheelchair that I can care for myself and travel by car, train or plane anywhere in the world.
I am so thankful for the many people dedicated in helping me and this is what motivates me to help others. My dream is to enable EVERY disabled person to have a wheelchair and enjoy the independence I do.
Below is the Team who are helping Geoff push this project forward.
Web Development / Online Support
Gary Vine is based in Torquay, South West England and runs a successful web development and Internet Marketing Company working with a wide range of clients around the UK and overseas.
Gary Vine is founder of Aspire Direct Marketing.
Gary supports Wheelchairs For The World and looks after all the Internet Marketing, Online Branding and Web Presence of Wheelchairs For The World.
Philippines Project Director
I am Eduardo B. Radaza Jr. and have been appointed as Philippines Project Director.
I am 28 years old and own a small grocery store in our rural area.
I am a member of the Barangay Council of Barangay Pagatpatan and part of my job is to enact ordinances and resolutions for the benefits of the people. As a member of the legislative body in the Barangay, I am willing to help the people who are in greatest need of medical equipment including Wheelchairs, working together with the founder Geoff Bone, of WHEELCHAIRS FOR THE WORLD.
I believe that whatever a person living with disability has, it should not make him or her a person without skills or value. They have the potential to be a Teacher, a Business Person, a Healthcare Professional and even the President. But since in our place people are not given equal importance and value of life, I am their advocate to become the bridge of this change. A total change of attitude is required that will surely change the views and perceptions of the people here, helping little by little, slowly but surely, those who are truly in need.
Robert Michael Hensel
Robert M. Hensel was born with a birth defect know as Spina bifida. A
disability that has not stopped him from achieving success in his life.
Robert serves as an advocate for the disabled, an on going effort to better the rights of all Americans with disabilities.
He is an International Poet-Writer with well over 900 publications published World wide.
In 2000 Robert was nominated as one of the best Poets of the 20th Cen. Just most recently, he was nominated for the Pushcart Prize, an award giving to Outstanding Poets, Writers.
Robert is also a Guinness Ripley’s world record holder for the longest non stop wheelie in a wheelchair, covering a total distance of 6.178 miles.
The reason his record was to help raise money for wheelchair ramps throughout his Community.
Roberts Journey doesn’t stop there by any means. In Oct 2006, Robert was asked to carry the torch for the 2006 Asian Games. It is said that he was the only one chosen out of Thousands of other Celebrities throughout the United States to carry out such an honor.
Much of Mr. Hensel’s accomplishments have recently found a permanent home within the walls of The Museum of Disability History, for others to appreciate and learn from.
The Museum of Disability History is the only one of it’s kind, displaying the Artifacts and accomplishments connected to some of histories most notable disabled figures of our time, such as Helen Keller and many others.
The Museum is located in Buffalo, New York.