John Stubbs health: The Paralympians health struggle – I felt like I was a burden

Shephard: Simmonds inspired me push for Paralympics

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John Stubbs, who is originally from the North West of England, was involved in a motorbike accident in 1989 that completely changed his life. Along with the accident he has had to overcome mental health battles and learn to adapt to life as an amputee. Aged just 24 years-old a car sideswiped John who was on his motorbike where he ended up injured on the ground, whilst crawling to try and turn off his bike’s engine another car ran him over.

Incredibly, an NHS ambulance that had been called out on a hoax call was on its way back from the station and picked John up, taking him to hospital.

Commenting on the incident to the BBC John said: “If I had waited for another ambulance, I would have probably died at the scene. I had to have a 68-pint blood transfusion because I had severed the femoral arteries in both my legs.”

After having his right leg amputated and treatment on his damaged left leg, John underwent rehabilitation, living life in a wheelchair.

This process was incredibly difficult for John, who understandably found it hard to accept his disability that he acquired through no fault of his own, this led him to struggle mentally.

He said: “I felt like I was a burden on my family. I was seeking solace in the bottle.

“It was at that point I felt there was only one way out and that was when I tried to commit suicide.

“My neighbour dragged me out,” continued Stubbs.

“It was a cry for help more than anything. My doctor was told about this and I went through counselling.”

After receiving counselling at a clinic in Manchester, he realised that other people envied the position that he was in.

“That’s when I realised ‘what have I got to complain about?’ It was a reality check for me and it really hit me hard, emotionally. I realised I had a lot more to offer.”

This new outlook on life led him to his new found passion of archery.

On this he told the BBC: “I was really chuffed that I had found something that challenged me.

“It made me realise that I’ve been very fortunate in my life as a disabled person. It made me a success.”

Despite his successes, John admitted to feeling deflated every year on the anniversary of his accident.

This was until he won two gold medals and a silver at the 2013 World Para-archery Championships in Thailand, which meant the day was going to be remembered for better reasons.

Mental Health Support

The NHS has multiple services to aid with mental health that are free to access, although some may need a GPs referral.

After an assessment a GP will offer appropriate advice or treatment.

This may include one-to-one therapy sessions or group therapy with others who are having similar difficulties.

If you are having suicidal thoughts or know someone who might be, you can contact the National Suicide Helpline UK on 0800 689 5652.

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