Man who broke neck hopes to inspire others with incredible life story

Michael Flounders has turned his life story into a book

Michael Flounders has turned his life story into a book - Credit: Michael Flounders

A man who broke his neck more than 30 years ago has put his life, recovery and faith into print in the hope of inspiring others to not let adversity get the better of them.

Michael Flounders suffered devastating injuries while playing with his children in his garden near the Norfolk-Suffolk border in 1988, when an attempted somersault went disastrously wrong.

Michael Flounders has turned his life story into a book

Michael Flounders has turned his life story into a book - Credit: Michael Flounders

The injuries left Mr Flounders with a broken neck and facing the rest of his life as a wheelchair user.

The accident left the former army man feeling as though his life was over and with no strength to go forward.

But he says a rediscovery of the faith he learned as a child helped him get his life back on track and he went on to travel the world, become a staunch disabilities campaigner and raise tens of thousands of pounds for charities along the way.

Now, he has put his life story down on paper in the hope he can inspire others not to let their perceived limitations prevent them from living fulfilling lives.

Michael Flounders with fellow travellers at the Shwedagon Pagoda in Burma

Michael Flounders with fellow travellers at the Shwedagon Pagoda in Burma - Credit: Michael Flounders

The Year God Introduced Himself with a Prayer for Non-Believers tells the story of Mr Flounders' upbringing in rural Suffolk, his life-changing accident and all that subsequently happened to him, from global travel to, he says, an encounter with an angel in Ecuador.

Most Read

The 65-year-old from Wilby, said: "Since breaking my neck, my whole life has been a challenge. The first thing that came to me was the want and the need to fight back - and that was when I embraced my faith.

"I felt as though I had nothing to believe in or any way forward but my family was always very strong and supportive."

He said that coming out of hospital he "wanted to find something to get involved in", so became a staunch equal rights campaigner for disability awareness.

Michael Flounders with fellow travellers at the Shwedagon Pagoda in Burma

Michael Flounders with fellow travellers at the Shwedagon Pagoda in Burma - Credit: Michael Flounders

His campaigning took him all over the world raising awareness of his, and other, disabilities.

He said: "I have swam in the blue lagoons of Iceland, climbed to the top of the Great Wall of China and visited the rainforests of St Lucia, all as a wheelchair user.

"I hope that reading my story can give people a real sense of hope and belief."

Michael Flounders with fellow travellers at the Shwedagon Pagoda in Burma

Michael Flounders with fellow travellers at the Shwedagon Pagoda in Burma - Credit: Michael Flounders

Mr Flounders' book is available to buy via most retailers, with proceeds going to charitable causes.