Unbowed: A Soldier's Journey Back from Paralysis is the story of a dramatic recovery from diagnosed quadriplegia to a level of functionality rarely seen.
Billy Hedderman was body boarding on the Sunshine Coast, Australia on New Year's Eve 2014, when a wave dumped him into the sand. He broke his neck, back and suffered immediate spinal cord damage, paralysing him from the neck down. Lucky not to drown, Billy was rushed to Queensland's premier spinal injuries unit where he began the difficult road to recovery. Yet incredibly within seven months of his injury, the incomplete quadriplegic ran a 10 km race in Brisbane in under one hour.
Billy details how his previous life experience - such as service in the elite Special Forces unit Army Ranger Wing, and the death of his two close friends - have assisted in his mental toughness to prevail against all expectations. The book provides insight into Irish Special Forces from a recent serving tactical commander. Billy is currently a serving Captain in the Australian Infantry.
Born and raised in Cork, Billy became an Irish Army Infantry Officer in 2003. His Irish military service included overseas deployments to Chad and Bosnia and service in the Irish Special Forces' Army Ranger Wing, where he served as a platoon commander from 2010-2013. Billy holds a vast range of specialist military qualifications including military freefall, survival, recon and advanced mountaineering. He retired from the Irish Army in 2014 in order to transfer his service to the Australian Army. He holds an Honours Degree in Physical Education from the University of Limerick, has summitted Mount Kilimanjaro for charity and is currently a captain in the Australian Infantry. Billy is also a recovering incomplete quadriplegic. -- Billy Hedderman
Prologue `You Wrote a Book?' 9 1 Relax, Bill 15 2 Leadership 101 22 3 Realisation 34 4 Selection 41 5 My First Week as a Quadraplegic 62 6 SCRATCH 74 7 I'm Going To Be Back 92 8 Chad 109 9 Good Morning, Roger 133 10 The Value of Friendship 154 11 My Leadership Learning Curve Just Got Steep 172 12 Let's Go to Work 206 13 Luck? 222 14 Leaving to Start Again 230 15 The Master of My Fate 245 Epilogue: Belief and Believe - How I Hope to Help You 261 Acknowledgements 281