|In 1983 at the age of 19 I had a motorcycle accident which left me a Tetraplegic. I was paralysed from the chest down with no use of my hands and impaired movement of my arms.
After just over 9 months in hospital I went home. From then on most of my days were spent listening to music, reading or 'tinkering' about on my computer. At the time I thought I was happy and I guess I was but, looking back, I wasn't content. I was doing nothing productive with my life
In 2008 I had another accident when the anti-tip device on my electric wheelchair failed while I was going up a step and my wheelchair went over backwards. The impact of my head on the concrete paving was severe and damaged my hearing such that I was no longer able to hear music properly. Also, I was left with very bad tinnitus. My moods changed completely, I was no longer the cheerful person I was, far from it. I was later diagnosed with clinical depression.
One day my Grandson Jake, who was 4 at the time, was playing with a little LEGO Police car but he dropped it on the floor and of course it broke into lots of pieces. He was really upset & asked me to put it back together for him. I told him I couldn't do it. Time and time again he asked & each time I told him the same. He kept on and on, saying you can do it Grum, you can do it, I know you can. He really believed that I could fix it for him. Not wanting to disappoint him I told him I'd try. He gathered up the pieces, sorted them out into groups on the table in front of me.
After half an hour or so spent staring at the pile of pieces I leant forward, took a piece of the Lego in my mouth and after much huffing and puffing managed fit it onto another piece. Jake was so excited. He just kept saying, I knew you could do it, I knew you could do it.
After persevering for almost a week I'd put the 20 or so pieces of the car together. Jake was over the moon and I was really proud of myself. As an added bonus, I found that the concentration really helped my tinnitus.
Over the next few months Jake bought me several more of his broken LEGO models to fix, each bigger than the last & after a while fix them I did. Little did I know he was deliberately breaking them! Somehow he knew that I needed this, that it'd help me. How right he was. From those sets I went on to build him other sets, usually Police and Star Wars themed.
With these 'under my belt' I thought I'd give myself a challenge and try something a bit bigger to build. This is when I came across Technic and decided to give it a go. I had a look on Amazon and saw 8258 Crane Truck. I'd not seen anything like it, was it really LEGO? I thought it was such a great looking set and one I thought would give me the challenge I was looking for so I bought it. Boy was I was right about it being a challenge.
It took 22 weeks, building for roughly 4 to 6 hours a day for 5 or 6 days a week but it was done. 1800+ parts all done by mouth. The satisfaction and pride I felt upon completing it was undescribable. The stickers were the only things I didn't do.
Since then I've built:
8110 UniMog (full PF RC)
Jurgens Ultimate 42009
9396 Rescue Helicopter
8053 Mobile Crane
8461 Williams F1
8674 Ferrari F1
8458 Silver Champion
8285 Tow Truck
8466 4 x 4
8274 Combine Harvester
8416 Fork Lift
8262 Quad Bike
42007 Dirt Bike
42048 Race Kart
42040 Fire Plane
10220 VW Camper
10242 Mini Cooper
10252 VW Beetle
42054 Claas Xerion 5000 Trac Vc
7662 Star Wars MTT
All the Racers 1:17 cars
Jake, and now his young brother George, still bring me broken sets to rebuild. They just don't take so long now.
I relish the challenge building LEGO, especially Technic, provides. I get a massive sense of accomplishment with each and every set I build and can honestly say that LEGO has completely changed my life.|
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