By Josh Saunders
A paralysed mum has learned to fly, professionally scuba dive and more to prove her son wrong that her life wouldn’t be ‘c*** and useless’.
Amanda Newton, 47, from Chichester, West Sussex, lost the use of her legs after a cycling accident that left her with 11 broken bones and a punctured lung.
She could have died three-years-ago, as she lay unable to move in the bushes for hours, after losing control of her bike and colliding with a sign.
After her cries for help were heard by a passing cyclist and she was rushed to hospital, doctors confirmed her beliefs that she was paralysed from the waist down.
Visit his mum on the ward, son Jacob, now 19, expressed his fears that his former-triathlete mum would no longer be able to enjoy her life – spurring her on to not be held back by her disability.
The mum-of-four was determined to ‘never be scared of anything’ again that she started undertaking challenges to overcome her fears and test herself.
Since then Amanda has overcome her fear of horse-riding, gone skydiving, kayaking, seated-skiing, received her paddy in scuba diving, seated water skiing, shooting, archery and more.
She is now training for her private plane license and has already flown 90% of the way to the Isle of Wight.
Amanda, who penned autobiography ‘The Sky is Not the Limit’, said: “When my son Jacob came to visit me in the hospital the first night after the accident he burst into tears.
“He crumbled and said, ‘Oh my god mum, your life will be crap and useless’
“First, I told him not to swear, then I let him know it wouldn’t be that way and I would show him how amazing my life would be.
“A lot of people would feel sorry for me, as I was so active before with my running, triathlons and being a daredevil.
“I wanted people to look at my life and want a life like me, I wanted to show them that being in a wheelchair is not to be pitied.
“It gave me the fire in my belly to go and get on with my life, to live life at its fullest. I could have nearly lost everything.
“I love horse-riding now, but that used to petrify me before the accident, people ask how I do it, it’s my determination to find a way.
“I did a skydive which was phenomenal, I tried kayaking, seated skiing, hand bicycling, scuba diving in the red sea, water skiing from a wheelchair and now I’m learning to fly.
“It was the most amazing feeling being in control of this flying machine and in complete control of my life up there in the sky.
“Having the fear that I was going to die, means I don’t want to be frightened of anything anymore.”
Amanda explains how surviving the accident in August 2015, left her determined to defy the odds and savour every moment of her life to come.
She said: “Lying with those significant injuries in the bushes for over an hour, watching the clock tick seemed like a long time.
“An hour is a long time to have all these things going around in your head, you could die and are lying there fighting for every breath what can you do
“When I was found the relief of knowing I wasn’t going to die, I didn’t care about losing the use of my legs.
“I knew, I’m still me, still Mandy, I have my arms and can do everything from a wheelchair.”
In hospital, it was revealed Amanda had broken seven ribs, three vertebrae and her collarbone, as well as puncturing her lung.
She believes the difficulties she faces because of her disabilities, even every day challenges, has led her to dream bigger and accomplish more.
Amanda said: “It’s a misconception that we are less able, we just have to do things in a different way and at times have more determination because of the challenges we face every day.
“From small things like getting butter out of the fridge because it’s on the top shelf, so once you start accomplishing the small things the bigger challenges aren’t as impossible.
“I’m able to do a lot of things able bodied people would only dream of doing.
“Often the more things that go wrong for me, the more determined I am to achieve something.
“I feel proud of what I’ve gone through and all the things I’ve been able to achieve, I could have given up so easily and so many others would.”
As well as taking on challenges, Amanda’s autobiography ‘The Sky is Not the Limit’ is a best seller on Amazon and she additionally gives speeches at schools to inspire others.
Son Jacob, whose worried words kickstarted her into action three-years-ago, is overwhelmed by his mother’s achievements.
Amanda said: “I knew I had to prove to everyone else that I would be ok and especially to my children who were really worried.
“I’ve also been into schools telling the people about my story, to know that being in a wheelchair is different but it can be amazing.
“I had some really bad times in hospital, but the sun sets and shines every day, you have to look for the light.”
To purchase her book visit: www.amazon.co.uk/Sky-Not-Limit-Inspiring-disability-ebook/dp/B074JB8QGT