Inspiring and supporting young people seriously injured through sport

GARETH REES

My name is Gareth Rees and I am a C4 tetraplegic, injured playing rugby in January 2011. I left hospital in January 2012 and am based in Warwickshire. Being C4 I have no movement below my shoulders and I drive my chair via a chin control.

What the Matt Hampson Foundation Has Done for Me

The Foundation paid for a through floor lift to enable me to live in a house as I had always planned, instead of being forced into a bungalow. The Foundation covering the cost of the lift enabled more adaptions within the house giving me a better lifestyle. Although this is a big financial contribution, Matt and everybody else at the Foundation have been very supportive and encouraged me to get on with life, this is just as, if not more, important than financial expenses.

Many people say I'm an inspiration to them and that's exactly what Matt is to me. Seeing the things he has done since his injury gives me great hope and proves these things can be done. Matt came and visited me whilst I was in Stoke Mandeville, helping to show me there is a life when you leave the hospital.

For example in November 2012 the Foundation paid from me to go and stay a night in London and see We Will Rock You at the Dominion Theatre. This was my first night away from home since leaving the hospital and quite a big step for me. I was more than happy to stay at the hotel in London, as it had been recommended by Matt who has stayed there before.

The Foundation has also paid for my iPhone 4S, allowing me to be on a cheaper contract, keeping my monthly bills down. This version of the iPhone comes with Siri allowing voice commands in certain applications. This allows me to create messages and e-mails much quicker than typing myself with a mouth stick, or dictating to my PA.

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