Grace Spence Green is a junior doctor and a wheelchair user. Growing up, she had her heart set on becoming a doctor from the age of eight and was a keen competitive climber. In an extraordinary incident in 2018, while she studying at medical school, a man jumped from a height and fell on her, causing her to break her back and sustain a spinal cord injury, becoming a wheelchair user. Choosing not to dwell on the incident, or indeed the man (who has since served time for GBH), Grace returned to medical school and has since started working as a junior doctor in London.
Grace and I speak about the incident and her feelings around it, the man, and she tells me why she isn’t angry about the situation. She shares how others, and the tabloids, reacted to what happened and her feelings around that.
We speak about Grace’s experience of being a patient at the rehab centre and about her frustrations about that time and the spinal rehab set up. She tells me about how it was for her, returning to the community, and then back to medical school and Grace opens up about her own internalised ableism she realised she had initially and prior to her injury.
It is the boundaries she’s set and her own confidence, she tells me, that has enabled her to establish herself and her stance as a medic who uses a wheelchair. We talk about ‘taking space’ and Grace shares some fantastic insights about this, as well as how she has acquired ‘radical acceptance’ about her situation - choosing to use her situation to enable her to ‘step into her power’ rather than being a victim of circumstance.
Grace shares some fantastic advice for people who have acquired a disability, as well as some words of wisdom for people who might be struggling with something in their lives.
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