‘If you think you are disabled then you are. People here are so positive, they blur the boundaries’.
In 2002 after 15 years in the Police force Stuart suffered a brain infection, the result of this meant that he was left with impaired motor skills. Having to give up his job he suffered a loss of identity and place in society whilst trying to adjust to his new position. Stuart commented that you have a sense of self-worth which is generated by what you do, always in a position of caring for others through his profession, he had suddenly found himself in a position where he himself had to be cared for by others.
Adjusting to this Stuart commented on the process he went through starting with anger, then grievance and finally to the acceptance stage. Being very active before the brain infection, meant slowing down his body clock was difficult. Stuart came across Aerobility 4 years ago when we had a stand at Farnborough Airshow, another year went past before Stuart made contact. After a trial flight, he was hooked straight away, Aerobility helped Stuart realize that the sky’s the limit.
Although having to self-fund the flying himself, Stuart has found friendship, enjoyment and an increased feeling of self-worth from Aerobility. He manages to get out and fly on average every two weeks, commenting on how lovely the people are at Aerobility. Before Aerobility Stuart had refined himself to a boring life but now he pushes boundaries that he never thought would be possible before, ‘If I can fly, what else can I do?’ ‘Disability is a mind set. If you think you are disabled then you are, people here are so positive, they blur the boundaries.'
Aerobility has changed Stuart’s perspectives and given him confidence to try other things. Due to this Stuart is working towards being able to fly solo, whilst the co-ordination learnt through flying positively impacting on other aspects of his life.
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