Here at Fortunate One HQ, there are so many strong and empowering women that dazzle us, but few have moved and inspired us in the way that Rhiannon Tracey has.
Who is Rhiannon Tracey? She is a motivational speaker and wellness advocate who as she likes to describe - lives her life on wheels. After previously suffering from a spinal cord injury, Rhiannon has now dedicated her life to changing the lives of others, and is someone we are proud to call our muse.
We were fortunate enough to hear Rhiannon share her story:
"At the tender age of 20 years old, myself, like thousands of Aussies, ventured to
the beautiful Indonesian island of Bali for what was meant to be a dream holiday.
Little did I know travelling to the island that my life would change forever, in a
way I could never have imagined.
It was days before my 21 st birthday when I woke up in paradise, ready to seize the
day and enjoy the beautiful weather and scenery Bali has to offer, when the course
of my life changed dramatically. After diving into a pool at the resort I was staying
at, I suffered a spinal cord injury so significant that I was diagnosed as a C-5
quadriplegic and told by doctors that I’d never walk again.
The nine hours that followed this were equally as horrifying. I found myself in a
deserted hospital ward as people fled the horrendous earthquake that had ripped
through Indonesia that exact day. A collapsed lung from the huge amount of
water that I had consumed added to the urgency to get me back on home soil for
emergency surgery. Eventually I was flown back to Australia where I endured a
string of lifesaving surgeries to save my life.
Fast-forward almost 10 years since my accident and my life has taken a
completely different path to what I thought it would. Although, not the original
path I had intended to take, it has surprisingly been none the less incredible.
Through a lot of hard work and persistence I am now able to walk short distances
with the assistance of crutches and drive my beloved car.
My achievements are vast, however, the launch of The Next Step Spinal Cord
Injury Recovery Centre has been my biggest to date. The Next Step SCI Recovery
Centre offers specialised recovery programs designed specifically for those who
have suffered a spinal cord injury through the delivery of evidence based recovery
models that use the latest recovery options and modalities.
In March this year, we celebrated 5 incredible years of The Next Step with the
launch of the Wellness Hub- an entire floor dedicated to the holistic wellness of
TNS clients, as well as their families and extended support networks, who are
integral to their recovery. Located on the newly constructed second level of the
recovery facility, access to the space has been made possible through the
generous $50,000 donation from the team at Spa Eclectics, which has funded the
instillation of a much- needed lift enabling direct wheelchair access to the new
Reflecting on 10 years since my accident, I truly believe I was destined to show
the world that there are far more abilities than disabilities. Both The Next Step
and the recent launch of the new Wellness Hub has enabled me to not only find a
new sense of meaning personally, but also the ability to help those who have
found themselves with a similar diagnosis. I am so incredibly proud of everything
both my team and myself have achieved and am so excited to see what the next 10