“Life is not a bed of roses. There are always challenges.”
Jack and his wife, Tricia, are both wheelchair-users from Singapore. “Very important is to persevere…You have to be ready for all the…challenges in life. Important thing is to always think of how to find a solution.”
Advice for people new to wheelchairs
Jack and Tricia understand how someone must feel when they’re a new wheelchair-user, “I know it’s tough…because suddenly their life is upside down,” says Jack. “They lose their…independence…their girlfriends…jobs.” Tricia adds, “And confidence.” A good approach to help a loved one or yourself is not after rehabilitation but during their stay at the hospital.
“It is hard to change their mind set. It doesn’t mean being disabled is the end of the world, but you just got to do things different.”
A good idea is to let them meet other wheelchair-users who have already succeeded in something in life, to show these new wheelchair-users that they can still make something out of their life. “So they don’t feel like they are the only one suffering alone,” he says. “Expose to them people who are already disabled who are able to counsel them…Sometimes I don’t think psychologists can help because they are not in this situation.”
Moving towards acceptance
Sports can also be a great avenue for people who are new to disability to be more independent and accepting towards their condition. Tricia shared about her friend who met with an accident when was 18 years old. She was so devastated with her accident that had caused her to be disabled that she attempted suicide several times, “after that…she took up some sports and that really changed her life,” says Tricia.
There wasn’t any specific method or formula for Jack and Tricia to get the confidence they have today but it was through time and tough trials in their lives. “It’s always a learning process and through experience and overcoming difficulties,” says Jack.
“There is always hope there. As long as you don’t give up…try to be more positive in life. There’s always a silver lining…nothing is hopeless. Never feel shy to talk to somebody…because we can’t solve problems ourselves. We need to communicate and interact with others."
Share Jack and Tricia’s advice with someone who needs a boost of positivity and confidence to come out of their shell.