Page 8 - CSS Journal February 2017
P. 8

“I want to see apps developed that allow you to link, via wifi, to a light bulb you can by off the shelf, so you that you can turn your light on and off from a phone; apps that allow you to flush your toilet, turn a shower on and off, open your front door.”
David is also working to support newly injured pa ents in the early days of recovery, when they are trying to come to terms with life as a severely disabled person. He has set up a produc on company and has released a series of podcasts with two other disabled friends in which they talk about life since their accidents.
“There’s a bloody restaurant in Leigh-on-Sea that’s got a disabled toilet up four steps.”
“We talk about our lives before our accidents, our recovery, our  me in hospital, our rehabilita on, learning bowel management and bladder management, sexuality - important stuff to a young man who has just broken his neck. You know, am I gonna use it again, that’s the first thing a 16-year-old boy is going to think. It was the first thing I thought. All the ques ons that people are too afraid to ask. We just laid it all out.”
Looking around the house, we come to another basement room, where two large pain ngs are leant up against the wall, both are works in progress: brushes and paints lie about, as well as the odd over-flowing ashtray. These are works David has commissioned from an ar st friend. In fact the house is full of pain ngs and sculpture, the most drama c of which is the arms and torso of a gymnast, braced between the rings and sculpted from burnished metal washers. There is something phoenix- like about it, and seems to capture an element of David’s own character. Gymnas cs was his root into the film industry as a stuntman.
Since releasing the podcasts David has been contacted by people who said it has helped them to prepare for life a er their injuries. “One was from the brother of a man who dived into a swimming pool on holiday. The family were just about to bring him home and they sat down and listened to the podcast. They said they laughed and they cried. When they got him to the UK they were much more prepared for what he and they had to face. Words can’t describe how happy that made me. Because that is what somebody did for me.”
And what does he feel now, when he thinks about his former life, or ponders the future?
“It’s supposed to be hard, isn’t it? If it’s not hard, you’re not trying hard enough. I was a gymnast, I then became a stuntman. I was lucky that way, and some people don’t have the opportuni es I had. Then that day happened, and I had my accident, and from then on you go ‘oh, it’s supposed to be this hard’.”
Si ng there, as the rain of early autumn pelts against the panoramic facade of David’s windows, one can only imagine what “hard” must really mean

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