RESIDENTS at Eurongilly and Illabo had a flying visit from Sam Bailey last week, with the farmer sharing his story to a large audience.
Mr Bailey was left a quadiplegic when his C6-C7 vertebrae when he was injured in an accident in the Northern Territory at the tender age of 19.
However, he didn’t let the injury prevent him from achieving his goals.
He return to the family farm and found ways to overcome the challenges he faced, including learning to fly.
“I wasn’t going to let a spinal cord injury get in the way,” Mr Bailey said.
More than 140 adults and children squeezed into the Eurongilly Public School’s classrooms to listen to what the farmer had to say, with everyone hanging off his every word.
“If they had another five or six people they wouldn’t be able to fit in,” Mr Bailey said.
Eurongilly Public School principal Jenny Hart said she had bought Mr Bailey’s book for her children and her eldest son was enthralled by it.
“He was just such an inspiration,” Mrs Hart said.
Farmer Andrew Hamilton said Mr Bailey’s inspiring talk was full of emotion.
Before inspiring the guests Mr Bailey had the opportunity to fly Mr Hamilton’s handbuilt aeroplane and while getting in was a small challenge, he said it was terrific to be able to see the district from the air.
Mr Bailey, who learnt to fly in an ultralight aircraft, is planning to become the first quadraplegic to fly a helicopter.