Jonathan Adam’s Story

Written by Guest Writer

June 30, 2021

So I’ve been asked to write an article to raise disability awareness.  My particular disability is called Spina Bifida which is Latin for Split Spine.  I also have something called Hydrocephalus or “Water On The Brain”. 
Spina Bifida comes in various forms and is where the spine is not developed properly and depending on where the lesion is can cause varying degrees of paralysis, the effects of which can range from incontinence to full lower body paralysis, so someone with SB can either be limited to mobility issues whilst being able to walk or if the lesion is higher, full lower body paralysis can occur. 
Hydrocephalus is when your CSF (cerebrospinal fluid that protects your brain) has no natural channel, so a surgery is performed to insert a device called a shunt.  This can either be inserted via a ventrical into the brain and the other end connected into the heart (ventriculoatrial) or into the stomach (ventriculoperitoneal).  We then get rid of the fluid in the normal way.  These things are mechanical and do from time fail and require replacement.  A relatively simple but potentially dangerous procedure. 
Going back to younger days, getting me into education proved difficult.  I was born in 1974, so schools were not clued up on disability to any great degree but eventually I went through the school system attending able bodied schools with as I got older, disabled provision becoming more common place. 
After varying degrees of success with education, the highlight being a BTEC National Diploma, I went into work as a telesales rep, until at 25, through a mixture of bad luck and my own ignorance, my health nosedived. 
Twenty years later after nearly losing my foot and eventually realising I am not always right, I joined a gym, which has improved my physicality to a level whereby if I can do the study to an adequate level, I hope to be a gym instructor specialising in disability.  
My motto now is It is not about what other people believe you can do but how much you believe in yourself. 


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