Thursday, 18 February 2016

Henry Fraser's Story

So how do I even begin? Well this way I suppose, How did I come across Henry? Well most people know I'm a HUGE fan of Rugby and the Six Nations kicked off for another year on the 6th of February and on that day I had watched England win the Callcutter Cup against Scotland and had visited Owen Farrell's twitter page to see if he had tweeted anything about the game where there amongst his tweets he had retweeted a very unique photo on a tweet from Henry which I will discuss later on but from there on I tweeted out to Henry and asked for his permission to write this post to share with you all, and I'm not sure if you will when you read this but I cried.

Now we always talk of how a single moment can change the course of our life forever, well in Henry's case it did exactly that. Back in 2009 where Henry was only 17 years old, exactly the same age as I am now, he was on a holiday with friends enjoying it as it had been a nightmare holiday since the moment he reached the boarding gate to get on his flight to find his passport was 2 months out of date. After £200 well spent he finally got to enjoy the holiday with his friends.

It was the 5th day when he and his friends were on the beach enjoying the weather. He did something he had already done several times both on that holiday and in general when he had visited a beach but this time it changed his life. He ran and dove into the sea, as simple as that his life changed, the damaged had been done in a split second. He remembers hitting his head on the seabed having clearly misjudged the dive. He opened his eyes expecting to be out the water but, clearly he was not. He found himself face down floating in the water, his arms lifeless in front of him, not able to move anything from the neck down. he managed to turn his head hoping someone was going to be there to help him, thankfully a friend was there to ask if he was okay which he says no I'm not. Dragged through the water to the beach where by incredible luck two Ex rugby caches who had basic training helped him, who without them would result in Henry's condition could of been much more severe. They kept him calm and told him things would be okay, but clearly like anyone's natural feeling, he couldn't keep calm. He recalls looking up ad seeing his friends around him thinking what a great holiday he had ruined.

Time passes and the ambulance arrives where he was taken to a spot where he could be airlifted to a hospital in Libson, without friends or family in a foreign country in a time of need isn't comforting but thankfully Henry had support and care from an amazing paramedic in the helicopter who took amazing care of him all the way to the hospital. There, he had several x-rays of his neck, numbing cream was applied to either side of his head and before the cream could take effect, the doctor screwed a screw into either side of his head. it was going to be for a pulley system for them to hang weights off. This was because in a split second misjudged jump into the sea moment, Henry had severely dislocated his neck, nearly popping the fourth vertebrae completely out of alignment and the weights were there to stretch his neck and get the vertebrae to slide back in.

But there was a problem, before the accident, henry was very muscular and a very active sportsman, so unfortunately there was too much muscle in his neck and back. The doctor hung as much weight as he could off the clamp of three days until after that time, all of his vitals were dropping rapidly. He had more x-rays taken only for them to find out that after three days of traction, his neck had not moved not even a millimetre. The day before thankfully his parents flew out to come ad see him and be by his side spending 24 hours for nearly two and a half weeks by his bedside. The result was having to be rushed into the operating theatre where they went through the front of his neck to try and re align the vertebrae but unfortunately the first attempt was unsuccessful. After the first attempt he recalls being in a different state that before, he now had two large tubes in his mouth down his throat which was the ventilator which was now breathing for him as his lungs couldn't do it. A large tube into his nose and down into his stomach to feed him a special liquid supplement. T add to the situation he was hooked up to several bags of liquid as in the time he was in the Portuguese hospital he had contracted pneumonia and MRSA. The mix of illnesses and the pure panic meant his never slept as the pain and fear were too much and it was at this time he had many dark thoughts running through his head but looking back at it, he regrets ever thinking that way.

This is only the first part of Henry's story, the rest can be found here. When I first read Henry's story I was overwhelmed and emotional. I read the story over and over again, always ending the same way, smiling and crying at the same time, I was truly affected in the good way. Henry is now 24 and refusing to stop pushing himself. He now publicly talks about his accident and his journey to push himself. He also now creates mouth art (art/painting with the brush in his mouth.) and what great art pieces they are.

I'm forever going to think of Henry and his strength, he will continue to be an inspiring human being. Accept what is and Adapt. Henry god bless your heart.


  1. That is the most saddest story I've ever read :(, Henry is a insperation and I like him

    1. He is such an inspiration, you should definitely follow him on twitter and stay up to date with him.