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Alex Lewis: What's your Why?

"In 2013 I became a severe quad amputee due to a very rare case of Strep A.

Thanks to fantastic acute care and some brilliant surgeons I survived the various infections and numerous surgeries.

I had to live in the moment to understand the gravity of what I was enduring but what about my future? How on earth was I going to manage to live a semblance of an independent life in this condition and how was my mental health going to survive the impending struggle?

I received a piece of guidance one day from an email sent by a very famous person in a very famous band. For the sake of anonymity I shall call him Mr Martin. Mr Martin recommended I read a book called ‘Mans search for meaning’ by Frankl. Mr Martin felt that there would be pieces in the book that would resonate with the journey I was on.

I had a raft of facial surgery coming up so I decided to read the book whilst in hospital. About two thirds of the way in the book there was a quote which basically slapped me round the face. The quote was ‘Once you work out the ‘why’ you will endure any ‘how’'

Right there and then I realised that my ‘why’ was my son Sam and my partner Lucy. They were my reason to push on through and my ‘how’ was my quadruple amputations and everything else physical.

Every aspect of my physical rehabilitation was buoyed by my ‘why’. I had discovered a reason to accept my difference and to concentrate on what really mattered...maintaining and enjoying my life with Lucy and Sam.

As time has gone by my ‘why’ has grown from two people to tens of thousands of people who have expressed support and an outpouring of love to see me succeed and push boundaries whether it’s adventure or helping create better assistive technology or just being able to speak openly about my disability.

I’ve grown to enjoy being different and I can honestly say, hook on heart, that I’m having the time of my life."

Our thanks go to Alex for sharing this powerful message with us, as part of Mental Health Awareness Week 2021. If you're struggling, then know you don't need to do so alone. Get in contact with one of the many, amazing charities and support organisations who are out there doing great things in this space. Take a look at our blog here for more ideas.

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