Hello, my name is Nigel and I’m 55 years old.
8 months after my 50th birthday I was participating in a lifelong passion of mine, motorbike speedway, when I was involved in a freak accident where I suffered major brain damage.
When I finally woke out of my coma it was clear that I had some sight loss and was diagnosed with purchase retinopathy. It took quite a long time for me to realise the impact of my eyesight loss, several weeks after I came out of my coma in fact because my brain was still swollen at that time. It really hit home when my wife sadly had a mental breakdown, got sectioned and put into a mental institution. I then started realising the impact of my eyesight loss, which had all happened obviously in the blink of an eye.
Until then I’d had my own business for 27 years, I was a successful business person and I had many passions and dreams and it was quite clear to me that my eyesight loss was going to stop all of these in one hammer blow. So that realisation then sent me in a spiral of mental distress. I’d realised that I’d lost my wife to the mental institution, and I’d lost my business.
I’d felt as though I’d lost the chance to live my passions again forever, so I then started to feel suicidal, which was never me, but at the time I felt that that was the only way out. Thankfully I didn’t follow through with it and I’m now here 5 years later.
Ironically my success in life and passions was the Achilles heal that actually sent me on a downhill spiral. Ironically it was also my success, and my passions and my desire for life actually brought me back because I decided that I would like to regain my passions, albeit in a different manner, and that drove me to chip away, day by day, at everything that I now do. I now also do motivational speaking.
I’ve ridden motorbikes since that decision; I do various challenges on motorbikes and in cars. I’ve ridden a speedway bike, I’ve ridden a hot-rod, I’ve been away with the wall of death and one of my passions before my accident, my eyesight loss, was photography.
I was a semi professional photographer a number of years ago. I’ve revisited photography and I had a successful photographic exhibition last year. I was due to have one again this year but the Corona virus stopped that so I’m aiming now for next year and the next exhibition I’m going to have will be based on my time away with the wall of death attraction.
My first exhibition was called ‘Life on Mars’ and included pictures to depict my life since my accident with my vision loss.
Sometimes it can be the very thing that sent us down a path of seeming destruction that sets us back on our path of purpose. Nigel is now #EyeInspiring others due to reclaiming his passions…
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