Post Shit

In 1977 during my fifth form year, at the age of 15, I broke my neck as the result of a rugby injury. Not the smartest thing I've ever done, made worse as we didn't even win the game! I had been playing in an internal 'House' game at King's College. I'd wanted to be a pilot and was in the top educational stream, but had to abandon any hope of flying as a result of becoming a Tetraplegic. I continued my education through correspondence school obtaining University Entrance qualifications in five subjects including Art History. Despite completing my education, I still had no idea what I wanted to do with my life.

I spent eleven years at the Otara Spinal Unit in Bairds road, not exactly how long rehabilitation is supposed to last, but I finally moving into the community in 1988. In 1990 I married Jenny Anderson, a nurse I had met while in the Spinal Unit.  We have built a home, Mollybean Manor, located in Waiau Pa, near Pukekohe, where we live and work enjoying life in a friendly rural community.

Grant and Juggernaut
Grant and Juggernaut
Vision December 1987 - At Work
Vision December 1987
- At Work
Grant and Dad on Tractor
Grant and His Dad on Tractor
Mosquito 1

Despite over 40 years in a wheelchair, I've lead a very full life and have been privileged to do a number of things, traveled to many destinations around the world and generally ticked off quite a few things on my bucket list and I'm not finished yet!

There's no real secret to success – ‘work hard, seize every opportunity and never give up’. Follow that formula and success will follow, especially when you keep things in perspective, embrace a sense of humour and try and maintain balance in your life!

Mum, Dad and Me - KCOCA Award
Mum, Dad and Me - KCOCA Award
MNZM Queens Honour and Medal at Athens
Top - MNZM Queens Honour
Bottom - Medal at Athens
Grant writing a letter
Grant writing a letter

How the Shit Happened...

My accident occurred at Kings College in 1977. To be fair, it wasn’t my first rugby injury. In 1975 and 1976 I damaged the cartiledge in each knee requiring surgery, no wonder Mum didn’t want me to play in 1977. I was 15½ and it was an inter-house game, not even an inter-school game - some of those games were fiercer than the inter-school games. It was just one of those moments in time when I lost my cool. I knew my abilities, I knew I wasn't a Sean Fitzpatrick, but it was the first time I'd played on the number one ground. It had a lot of significance. I was becoming a better player and selected not because they needed to make up numbers, but because I was playing well. I felt I was in a good team but we weren't winning the game when we should have been. I guess we were all a bit fired up.

The accident happened in a ruck which had formed in front of our goal posts. They had a very good half-back first-five combination and I knew that if they got the ball, they'd score. I don't know what I expected to do but I thought I saw the ball and I just charged in. Somehow I think I got my neck between two people and it bent forward or something like that. One way or the other it was broken and that was it. The next thing I was lying in the mud and everyone was running away. I couldn't move, I couldn't hear, I couldn't feel, I was very scared.