IT IS difficult to imagine anything worse than the loss of one’s mobility.
Of course, it happens gradually for many people as they become infirm through old age or illness.
But sometimes the transformation from active individual to wheelchair-bound invalid is so sudden, it can be utterly devastating.
This is what happened to 27-year-old Will Clark from Grasmere. One moment he was cycling along a Lake District road and the next he was lying prone on the tarmac - the top of his spinal cord severed.
Will is now facing his life-changing injuries with tremendous courage.
For a young man who ran and cycled over the fells daily and who loved ski-ing and the adventure of world travel, he now has to come to terms with a totally different life with many new and difficult challenges.
It’s hard to imagine that his situation could have been much worse, but his mother Angela Clark is keen to point out one positive - Will was wearing a helmet when he had his accident. Otherwise, the damage to his head might have been much more severe or even fatal.
As it is, Will has to now try to build a new life around his immobility.
The Will Clark Fund, set up by the Grasmere community, will help adapt Will’s parents’ home to suit his special needs and to provide help beyond that provided by welfare support. But Will’s ultimate desire is to be able to once again roam freely among the fells he loves.
This is why The Westmorland Gazette has this week launched a Wheels for Will campaign to raise £25,000 to buy him a specially-adapted, rough terrain quad bike.
As well as enabling him to regain some of the freedom he once enjoyed, it will, according to his spinal injuries consultant, add significantly to his sense of wellbeing.
It is a sad irony that at the time of his accident Will was selflessly raising money for a cystic fibrosis charity.
The Wheels for Will campaign is an opportunity for society to give something back to him.
We would urge everyone to consider making a donation to the appeal.
- For more details, go to our Wheels for Will campaign page.