Trust service user is Paralympic Torchbearer
The Paralympic Torch was carried down London’s Regent Street yesterday by Trust service user and Warrington Disability Partnership volunteer Samantha Jones, 20.
Samantha, from Appleton in Warrington, was representing former British international wheelchair basketball-player Dave O’Connor who sadly passed two months ago.
Dave had been one of several inspirational people chosen to carry the Paralympic Flame from Stoke Mandeville to the Olympic Park during a 24-hour Relay. His selection was based on his outstanding contribution to sports and commitment to promoting disability awareness throughout the community.
Following the tragic loss of Dave, Samantha was asked by his family to step in and carry the torch on his behalf.
“I felt honoured to be carrying the torch and so proud to be representing Dave and his family,” says Samantha who was mentored and coached in wheelchair basketball by Dave. “I miss his friendship and guidance greatly but I know he was beside me all the way.”
Samantha, who has Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, received support from our Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services for six years and is now assisted by our Adult Services staff in the community.
She became a wheelchair user after developing Cauda Equina Syndrome (CES) which causes loss of sensation and impedes movement.
The London 2012 Paralympics began with a spectacular opening ceremony yesterday. More than 2,100 medals will be presented in 503 Victory Ceremonies between now and 9 September.