9. The Miracle

How does it feel to be told that you will never walk again? How does it feel to realise that you’ve done something for the last time, without even knowing the significance of those final moments? How does it feel taking that first step, long after you’d given up hope of ever walking again?  A… Continue Reading

8. New Horizons

Two weeks had passed since I had attended a Talent Identification Day for Great Britain’s Paracanoe Programme in April 2017. Unsure whether or not I was what they were looking for, life quickly shifted back to overcoming the day to day obstacles I still encountered during this early stage of my life post injury. All… Continue Reading

Reflection – Two Years

Today marks two years since I embarked on the greatest challenge of my life. It occurred to me then, as it does now, that sometimes in life it is the challenges we don’t sign up to which are the most formidable. There are moments in our lives which we cannot forget, moments which come to… Continue Reading

7. Opening Up

A week had passed since I’d attended the Talent Identification Day for Great Britain’s Paracanoe programme. As I waited impatiently to learn my fate, an intriguing invite from an old friend momentarily stole my concentration. I’d been invited to speak at an event in London held by a group known as the ‘Yes Tribe’. The… Continue Reading

Lost in the Clouds

I realised recently that in the talks I have given since my accident, whether the audience have been children or adults, I focus on my life post-accident, on ‘post-accident Darren’. Likewise, I speak about an ingrained sense of courage, resilience, and strength which I’ve relied upon to pull me through a time of real adversity.… Continue Reading

6. Running Free

Sat at the front of the cramped briefing room alongside the other would-be athletes, I could feel the tension in the room rising in anticipation of the opening address. “Welcome to the High-Performance Training Centre for Great Britain’s Olympic and Paralympic sprint kayak programme.” None of us yet knew what to expect from the day’s… Continue Reading

5. From the Zoo to the Jungle

A member of staff at the spinal unit remarked that being discharged from hospital was like ‘going from the zoo the jungle’. She explained that, in hospital, you are fed, cared for and supported 24/7. However, in the jungle, you’ve got to learn to look after yourself. After the events of the last few weeks,… Continue Reading

4. Crash Land

‘Crash Land’ has been undoubtedly the hardest blog to write of the series so far. It has taken months to feel strong enough mentally to re-visit, and to start coming to terms with the events which unfolded during my last months of rehabilitation. Just as things were beginning to look up, and as my discharge… Continue Reading

‘My Darren’ – Mum

A little while ago, I asked my Mum to write a blog about the events of August 6th from her perspective. It is only since looking back at the first hours/weeks of my accident that I have come to realise how wrapped up in ‘self-preservation mode’ I truly had been at the time. I had… Continue Reading

3. Taking Back Control

Today was the day. Today marked the end of my sixth week on bed rest. Thank God. I wasn’t quite sure how I’d quite managed it, but then again, I hadn’t really had much of a choice. Never before in my life had I wished away days quite like I had these past six weeks.… Continue Reading