Samstag, 17. Januar 2015

The Spirit within! - Anthony Thomas Davies



Heute möchten wir Euch einen jungen Mann vorstellen, der an einer seltenen, unheilbaren Krankheit leidet, sich davon aber keineswegs unterkriegen lässt und eine unglaubliche Lebenslust ausstrahlt. Bei Anthony Thomas Davies wurde im Alter von sechs Jahren die Krankheit Friedreichs Ataxia diagnostiziert. Im Alter von zwölf Jahren war er nunmehr auf den Rollstuhl angewiesen. In den kommenden Jahren jedoch, lies er sich nicht entmutigen und kämpfte für seine Träume, gegen die Krankheit und für einen besseren Umgang mit gehandicappten Menschen. Anthony Thomas Davies lebt in Liverpool England. Das folgende Interview erfolgt daher in englischer Sprache. Viel Spass!


About Friedreich's Ataxia:The neurological condition affects balance, speech, and a range of other symptoms leading to a gradual loss of physical, mental, emotional and sensory functions. There is currently no cure. For more information visit www.ataxia.org.uk.

"I do not believe that this world is as suitable as it could and should be for disabled people!"


Can you give us a short overview over your life?

To be honest, I find it difficult too sum up all of my wonderful years; and even the bad ones taught me lots. Sure, my life is hard, but joy still presents itself.  More about this later.
I was diagnosed with Friedreich's Ataxia (FA) at 6 but continued to learn, laugh, and play in a mainstream primary school, but went into a 'special' secondary school at 11, was in a wheelchair by 12, and also attended both another mainstream school and a college at the same time.


"..there is always somebody worse off; so I can't complain."

 After studying at schools, I then attended a sixth form college before going to university.  I lived on campus whilst at university and met some very good friends in my final (and best) year there in 2004/2005.I moved back home in 2005, done some further studies and applied for university again, but financial constraints put an end to that desire after 2 weeks of attendance.

The next large phase was the moving into my own flat in 2010, shortly followed by the publication of my poetry and short stories in 2011 (My Words: www.amazon.com/author/atdap), I then founded the Anthony Thomas Davies Foundation, and then I took part in a nude calendar, see www.ataxia.org.uk for more information.


Can you tell us more about "Friedreich's Ataxia"?

 
FA is a neurological, progressive, and life-shortening condition; but a good life is like a good book, as it does not matter about its length but its content. 
Living with FA is bad enough, but I'm luckier than most because I was diagnosed at 6 and the progress seems slower than the average FA sufferers', who are usually diagnosed in their mid-too late teens/early adolescence and seem to succumb too FA's symptoms a lot more rapidly.  The diagnosis age ranges of FA sufferers' varies from 4 to 50+, as do the symptom progression rates in each indivual.
"A good life is like a good book, as it does not matter about its length but its content."

  How does a typical day in your life look like?

I have lived in my own flat since May 2010 so my daily routine does vary, but my general routine is:
8(ish) - 9.30(ish):  My morning carer helps me up into my shower chair via a hoist, helps me to shower, makes my breakfastand makes my lunch.
12(ish) - 3(ish):  My lunch time carer comes round and, once I finish my lunch, we go for a stroll, go to the gym and/or do other necessary errands.
4(ish) - 6(Ish):  My tea call carer comes to make my evening meal.
10(ish):  My night call carer helps me into my hoist and into bed.





This is virtually the same all month, except for two Saturdays, which is then:
9(ish) - 10.30(ish): My morning carer comes, helps me up, sorts my morning routine, makes my breakfast and gives me my lunch.
2(ish) - 12/later: A single carer takes me to the gym, gives me my evening meal, and then the world is my oyster until my bed beckons.
 
How do you keep on smiling when life is treating you hard?
 
The best thing that I find helps me through depressive  times are by keeping both mentally and physically active, as well as remembering there is always somebody worse off; so I can't complain.

You are the founder of the "Anthony Thomas Davies Foundation". What is it about? 


The end goal of the ATDF is to make life better and easier with the aid of technology and one of the most evidential flaws in life concerns disability; which can have most flaws improved via biomechanics.


 "I have always been interested in issues surrounding equal opportunities and morality"


What was the "key-moment" to start with the Anthony Thomas Davies Foundation? 

I have always been interested in issues surrounding equal opportunities and morality in general, but it was because I dropped something on the floor that I could not pick up because of my wheelchair that was 'the kick up the bum' to start the ATDF.

What social changes or developments for disabled people do you wish for the future? 

I am attending a conference for this reason; I do not believe that this world is as suitable as it could and should be for disabled people. I believe that simple engineering, biomechanical, and architectural developments need to be made before the wall of negativity in society that separates itself from disabled people is toppled.




What can we expect to hear from you in the near future? Any new poems, stories etc.? 

I think I will let "My Words" be my last literary venture for the moment, as I am working on developing a new walking aid called the "Inde Imp" (details are on the Anthony Thomas Davies Foundation Facebook page).

What does "True Spirit" mean to you?

True Spirit to me means simply having the determination to not give up on what is logically right and moral.

Thank you very much indeed for this great interview!


"The Godfather!"



 
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