In 2013, Brian Abram, from Halifax, was training for a fundraising bike ride to Spain. As a result of an accident, he sustained life changing injuries. He was in a coma for several weeks and spent a year in hospital. He is completely paralysed from the waist down and will always be a full-time wheelchair user.
Brian, however, has turned his disability into an hilarious, illustrated children’s book which was published on 1st November 2019. His aim is to show youngsters that being in a wheelchair doesn’t have to prevent you from having fun and enjoying life.
Originally, he intended his stories to help his young grandson, Charles, to understand why Brian had to spend all his time in a wheelchair after becoming disabled 6 years ago “I needn’t have worried,” he said, “Charles was only 6 months old when I had my accident, so he’s only ever known me in a wheelchair. And, he just accepts it!”
His grandson proved to be the inspiration for the stories Brian wrote to entertain him. The young lad in ‘The Adventures of Grandad Wheels!’ dreams up all sorts of ways for his Grandad to enjoy adventures, even though he is a full-time wheelchair user. As a result, in the first book, ‘Charlie’s Big Idea!’ Grandad finds himself unintentionally joining in at the skateboard park, and in another he is propelled round the supermarket by a fire extinguisher his grandson attached to his wheelchair! There are now five riotous stories written, with the possibility of more to come.
Commenting on the book, world famous illustrator Sir Quentin Blake said, “It’s an impressive piece of work … I appreciated that Grandad was normal, and not the whiskered dotard that I would have been tempted to draw”
Brian hopes his stories will help children understand that people in wheelchairs are just like everyone else and can still achieve things and enjoy life, by getting them to laugh at the daft things this Grandad gets up to. He plans to read them to children in primary schools and encourage discussion, in a fun way, about the issues surrounding being in a wheelchair.
Brian’s books can be purchased directly through his website, www.grandadwheels.com and they should be available through book shops very soon. All proceeds from sale of his first book will be donated to the two charities that helped him so much with his recovery; Spinal Injuries Association and Back Up.
His first book is dedicated to all the staff at Pinderfields Spinal Unit, Wakefield who helped him recover.
Thanks so much to our guest blogger Vicki. If you have family or friends in Wakefield be sure to let them know about the Wakefield Mumbler site.