From being paralysed in the Manchester Arena bombing to trekking Mount Kilimanjaro in an adapted wheelchair – Martin Hibbert is turning ‘an act of terror into a force for good’ to raise funds and awareness for us. Here’s Martin in his own words.
On 22 May 2017, my life changed forever.
I was the closest survivor of the Manchester Arena bombing which tragically took the lives of 22 people. A bolt went straight through me, severed my spinal cord and left me paralysed below the waist.
The NHS saved my life, but it was Spinal Injuries Association (SIA) who gave me the hope, confidence and practical skills to start again.
Martin’s breathtaking target is to raise £1 million for us in order to make a meaningful and lasting difference to the lives of spinal cord injured people nationwide
I first met Gary, also spinal cord injured and a peer support adviser with SIA, when he wheeled up to my bedside at Salford Royal Hospital. He’s truly one of the most inspiring people I have ever met and without him I wouldn’t be where I am today.
His own experience of life after injury – positive and optimistic, but also real and practical – gave me the hope and practical knowledge I needed to get through a desperate situation. With grit, determination and a great team around me, he told me that my life would improve. And it did. Over the last four years, I’ve battled and overcome many mountains, but I’ve completed my rehab, returned home, am a father and husband and resumed work as a sports agent.
Its’ something I want to do – to turn an appalling act of terror in to the opposite, a powerful statement of hope and optimism, that can change forever the lives of the 50,000 people paralysed by spinal cord injury in the UK
Spinal Injuries Association did so much for me and now I’m doing something for them. On 1 September, using a specially adapted wheelchair, and with the team who helped save my life, I’ll be climbing Mt Kilimanjaro, Africa’s highest mountain.
It’s an incredible challenge crossing rainforest, boulder fields and snow. Ill have to tackle the altitude, freezing temperatures and life under canvas. But its something I want to do – to turn an appalling act of terror in to the opposite, a powerful statement of hope and optimism, that can change forever the lives of the 50,000 people paralysed by spinal cord injury in the UK each year.
With your generosity, we can help every injured person get the care and support they need, whenever and wherever they need it
With your generosity, we can help every injured person get the care and support they need, whenever and wherever they need it. No one should face life after paralysis alone. So please help me support other spinal cord injured people by following me on social media #martinsmountain, making a donation here, or organising your own event.