Wednesday, May 5, 2010
Heather Mills-- Amputation inspires not despairs
In 1993 Heather Mills, a successful model, was involved in a road accident with a police motorcycle. Her injuries included crushed ribs, punctured lung, multiple fractures of the pelvis and the loss of her left leg below the knee.
Heather, also a successful businesswoman, had already had an extraordinary life story, and it has resulted in her being awarded many outstanding accolades and awards. Former PM John Major presented her with the Gold Award for Outstanding Achievement; The Times presented her with their Human Achievement Award and the British Chamber of Commerce not only named her Outstanding Young Person of the Year but also named an award after her - the Heather Mills Award. For her charity work in 1996 she received a nomination for the Nobel Prize.
Heather had an unusual and traumatic upbringing - her Mother left when she was nine and Heather was left to look after her siblings and Father. By the time she entered her teens she was his full time PA, organising his social events, designing and publicising his various business endeavours. He ended up in prison and Heather left home.
Her first job was at a croissant shop. The Manager specifically said she could eat as much as she liked, she ate 25 in one day and was promptly sacked. She bought the rights to and later sold two American products. First was the ,Stick on Bra, and then came ,Frozen Yoghurts,. She later sold the rights on for a substantial profit.
Heather turned to modeling after winning The Mirror's, Dreamgirl, contest and did this for several years. Due to the unreliable income she set up her most successful business venture, ExSell Management UK and later sold the company for an offer that was too good to refuse.
1990 she went to Yugoslavia for a holiday and moved there permanently. She witnessed the outbreak of Civil War. After which she helped set up a refugee crisis centre travelling from Slovenia to Bosnia-Herzegovina negotiating with military and government agencies for hospitalisation, housing and re-sheltering in the local communities. For two years she commuted between Slovenia and England keeping up her modelling career to earn money to help the refugees. She established the Heather Mills Trust to raise money for the young disabled victims of the war.
After her accident, she instigated a nation-wide appeal for the donation of unwanted prostheses and employed the services of the inmates at Brixton Prison to dismantle the limbs and make them ready for transport. October 1994, just a year after her accident, the first convoy of artificial limbs and medical equipment left for Zagreb. Over 22,000 amputees and victims of landmine explosions have been helped since that convoy. After this, she wrote her autobiography ,Out on a Limb, which landed straight onto The Times best seller list, the proceeds going to the Trust.
Heather's voice is heard in the media and also the political sphere - in Westminster and the UN she is well respected for her stance on landmines. In addition to the above she has managed to run a half-marathon (in Newcastle), as well as her media, modelling and charity work. She also hopes to work in politics at some point in the future.
It is heard to believe that someone so young has achieved so much and is continuing to do so. Heather herself sees her accident as happening for a reason, and as well as her charitable achievements, she has brought a motivational tale of remarkable inspiration and hope to many people through her personal appearances and public speaking.