Kelly

Just a Surfer Catching a Wave

Kelly McCann is a member of the Disabled Surfers Association and a supporter of Spinal Cure Australia, an organization devoted to ending the permanence of spinal cord injury

"My name is Kelly McCann. I’m 26, and have been a ventilator dependent quadriplegic for 22 of those years. During those years I’ve experienced a lot of adventures and a lot of falls too, but as they say, if we didn’t fall, we wouldn’t learn how to get back up and keep fighting. If you watch the video of me surfing, you might see what I’m talking about. I live for independence and freedom—it’s a part of who I am. I try to live by example. If I can just show one person that if you are willing to be brave enough to put yourself out there and be ready to catch the next wave that comes your way, it’s your choice to jump on and to see where it leads you."

"I started using Passy-Muir valves almost ten years ago. Before that, I had to wait until I had a breath from my ventilator to talk and try to fit my sentence in one breath before it stopped. Now that I have the speaking valve, I can talk naturally without my speech being so broken and rushed. I feel I can talk to people easier and with more confidence. I wouldn’t have been able to talk to the news reporters very well without it. Try it—you might never look back. It took me a while to get used to the different feeling, but now I’d hate to live without the Passy-Muir Speaking Valve. I’d like to say thank you to the Disabled Surfers Association for letting me be just a surfer catching a wave and feeling the freedom."

-- Kelly McCann

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