Owen Lowery

Owen Lowery

In September 1987, when I was 18, I suffered a spinal injury during a Judo tournament in St Helens, as a result of which I was left paralysed from the shoulders down and dependent on a ventilator to breathe. I was a multiple British Judo champion at the time.

While I couldn’t compete any more, it did not take me long to find out that there were plenty of things I could do. Regain came in by providing an adapted Macintosh computer with a headset. The headset sent signals to a receiver above the computer, which, in turn, ensured that the on-screen cursor would follow my head movements. A straw attached to a sip/puff switch allowed me to perform clicks and drags with the mouse, an arrangement that meant I could type and use an on-screen keyboard.

Using the computers provided by Regain, I began by taking an A level in Tudor History at St Helens College. I was so encouraged by this that I decided to take an Open University degree in Humanities. A Masters degree in Military Studies, at Chester University followed and then another Masters degree in Creative Writing, this time at Bolton University. It was at this point that I began to write my own poetry, as well as reading and writing about the poetry of others.

I must also add that in June 2013 I married Jayne, who began as my carer, but became my girlfriend soon afterwards. We are currently in the process of having Jayne’s house adapted. The future is certainly looking very bright.

Long may Regain go on improving the lives of tetraplegics such as myself. Thank you all so much.

Owen will shortly have a new poetry collection ‘Rego Retold’ available from January 2015 but for more information about Owen’s book, ‘Otherwise Unchanged’ and the chance to see him reading his book please follow these links.