Heather Mills on amputee support, overcoming personal injury and succeeding in the face of adversity: Part 2
In the second part of our exclusive interview, Heather Mills shares helpful advice on the things she’s learnt from her own experience with personal injury and the work she’s done to support amputees across the world.
Personal Truths Team: After your accident, how did you feel about the future during your recovery?
Heather: Positive, determined and focused.
“I was determined to make a difference so amputees in the UK and around the world would not feel alone and isolated.”
PT: Were there many help and advice resources available at the time?
Heather: As there was limited internet access in the 90s, I decided to write a self-help book. I was one of the only well known amputees at the time, aside from the war hero Douglas Bader, and I realised few resources were available. I was determined to make a difference so amputees in the UK and around the world would not feel alone and isolated.
Not only did I start a successful amputee forum with the help of my friends Davinder Mann and Johnny Vacca (which is still a huge communication point for the amputee society today), but I campaigned tirelessly for war and trauma survivors’ worldwide, bringing awareness, funds, accessibility to resources.
PT: What work have you done to support amputees?
Heather: I currently fund nine countries in poverty stricken areas with prosthetic limb assistance. Being healthy is the number one goal in life, so I’m currently working on offering the world meat, dairy and fish free substitutes. I own one the largest vegan food manufacturing companies in the world, VBites. We export to 27 countries and have over 74 products in our range.
By eating a healthy plant based diet, the world could eventually reduce the need to farm animals on a mass scale, eliminate hunger and save the environment. This would lead to less medical problems for everyone, not just amputees.
“You are not alone.”
PT: What advice would you give to anyone currently going through a personal injury?
Heather: Share your experience – it helps to make the situation feel not so overwhelming. If you feel that you cannot speak to someone directly, chat online on a forum. And most importantly, you are not alone.
Amputees are cool now, unlike in my day. Take your leg off and get a hottie or a friend to massage your residual limb… they love to feel involved and useful!
PT: Are there any specific accomplishments that you’re really proud of, that you didn’t think you’d be able to achieve when you first had your accident?
Heather: Probably becoming the fastest disabled woman in the world, speed skiing at a speed of 166.84km/ph at the speed masters in Vars in France in 2015. This was one of four world records I achieved that year, not knowing I had a burst appendix and Lyme disease at the time.
The others being the first disabled woman to compete in the winter sports of the Skeleton, Bobsleigh and the Ski Jump.
I have achieved many goals and I am honoured that I feel an inspiration to others, but inspiration comes from within. As long as we all have our goals, big or small, the ultimate achievement is having the courage to defy everything and accomplish the seemingly impossible, whilst we have the privilege of still being alive.
Read part one of our interview with Heather here.
For more insights and amputee support from Heather, visit her website here: