I HAVE a ripper of a life now and I wouldn’t trade places.
This was how Sam Bailey, who is a C6/C7 quadriplegic and has conquered his disability to become a successful farmer, ultralight pilot, inspirational speaker, author and role model concluded his talk in Wagga.
Mr Bailey spoke at the NSW Farmers Mental Health Forum on Friday at the Wagga Council meeting room.
“I am a very lucky bloke,” he said on more than one occasion. He expressed the importance of connecting with mates, family and community. And it was this kind of focus that got him through some of the darkest days of his life.
For the boy who grew up wanting to be a farmer just like his dad and to play rugby with his mates his life took a turn that would change things forever when he was just 19.
A car accident left him with injuries which meant he would spend months in rehabilitation and face life in a wheelchair.
Returning home from the hospital to his parents farm and seeing the saddle in his bedroom, and his footy boots sitting in the corner was nothing less than heartbreaking.
Those footy boots would never be worn again.
“Life is what you make it and opportunities are endless,” he told the Wagga gathering.
Mr Bailey might not be wearing footy boots but he is kicking goals in life.
He runs a successful beef cattle operation, fell in love with and married former ABC Rural journalist Jenny Bailey.
His current goal is to fly a helicopter. He wants to land the helicopter on school ovals throughout Australia and give motivational talks to the next generation.