Amputee adds scuba diving to list of adventures

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Amputee adds scuba diving to list of adventures

Amputee adds scuba diving to list of adventures

Published: 24-Oct-13 16:53:15
Author: Anna
Source: BBC News
Related: 10-Apr-10 23:11:09

A 52-yer-old amputee from London is ready to take on the underwater world as she gets closer to completing her scuba diving qualifications. Sue Wright has already climbed Mount Kilimanjaro and hiked around trekked around Madagascar, but her latest adventures have enabled her to overcome some unexpected obstacles.

Sue Wright from London is getting closer to exploring the underwater world despite being an amputee. The 52-year-old has already climbed Mount Kilimanjaro, explored China and Jordan, and hiked around Madagascar but she is ready to conquer the wonderful world of scuba diving as she gets closer to completing her qualifications.

Sue suffered life-threatening injuries in March 2008 when a van driver mounted the pavement she was walking on. She was left with a five percent chance of survival and her leg had to be amputated.

"I suffered a brain injury because my head hit the van with full force and it caused my brain to bleed. My left leg was later amputated above the knee and the other leg was very badly smashed up from the calf down and several times during my stay in hospital I was close to death," Sue explained.

"I'm not anywhere near recovery but earlier this year decided I've got to get out and do things because if I can swim and explore, I'm not missing out."

She soon discovered her local Sub-Aqua Club in Eastcote but she had to overcome some obstacles before she could even get in the water.

"The first day I went it was snowing and I'd only just started walking on my prosthetic leg," said Sue.

When she got to the centre she said she was cautious about the underwater activities, and learning to breathe, with the added complication of her injuries.

"I had to take my leg off and get to the side of the pool on my bottom and it was so embarrassing because people sometimes don't know how to react so you see disgust or pity, but they were lovely and really understanding," she commented.

After being paired up scuba diving instructor Nigel Ealand, they had to figure out how Sue would be able to balance and they had to throw the usual scuba diving rules out of the window.

"One side of her body is a lot lighter and so she tended to end upside-down in the water so you'd think you'd put the weights on the side of the missing leg, but it didn't work and we have discovered it needs to be on the other side," explained Mr Ealand.

So far, Sue has completed the theory and pool sessions for the BSAC (British Sub-Aqua Club) Ocean Diver course and she is planning to undertake an open water dive next year when the water is warmer.

Once certified, Sue is planning to head off on her scuba diving holidays to the Red Sea and Belize where she can explore the magnificent underwater world.

The Red Sea is one f the world's leading scuba diving destinations and popular hotspots include Sharm el Sheikh, Hurghada, and Dahab in Egypt.

While scuba diving in the Red Sea, divers can explore colourful coral reefs, sunken wrecks, and swim alongside exquisite marine creatures such as clownfish, lionfish, giant moray eels, barracuda, octopus, hermit crabs, dugongs, green turtles, dolphins and sharks.

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