From Despair to Determination: Andrew Bidewell's Journey of Recovery - Forward Ability Support

From Despair to Determination: Andrew Bidewell’s Journey of Recovery

Andrew Bidewell is a person who experienced a life-altering spinal cord injury in 2002. After enduring several surgeries and medical procedures, he found himself in severe pain and eventually became bedridden and isolated.

However, two years ago, he decided to take control of his life and moved to the Sunshine Coast. Since then, he has made significant progress and regained his mobility. Andrew has rediscovered his passions for woodworking, guitar playing, and learning new skills like jewellery making.

He emphasizes that individuals should not see their injuries as solely negative but rather as opportunities for a different and fulfilling life. Andrew encourages others to embrace the possibilities and embrace their new lives with determination and a positive mindset.


Hi, my name is Andrew Bidewell and I’m here to share my story with you for Spinal Cord Injury Awareness Day. In 2002, I suffered a burst fracture of the L two vertebrae after riding my motorcycle over to a friend’s house. After the medical system was finished with me for operations and ablation, later I was in severe pain, which progressively got worse over the years until I was left bedridden with no hope, no friends, no life of my own, a room on a mountain in the middle of nowhere. It was terrible!

So, two years ago, I was given a lifeline, an opportunity to come to the Sunshine Coast. I decided to take my life back into my own hands. And I took it and I packed my bags and moved down to the Sunshine Coast. Within three months, I was back on my feet. There’s been some ups and downs, but things are moving forward.

Prior to the accident, I ran my own pest control business. I’m a refrigeration mechanic by trade. I’m a woodworker I love woodworking, and I played guitar all of which I lost during my accident. And over the years as things got worse and worse, at night, life got terribly hard. So, coming down to the Sunshine Coast, I’ve been able to reclaim those things. I play guitar again, I have done a jewellery making course, which is sort of you know, I’m learning new skills. And I’m learning how to whittle, which is wood carving, which is a toe back into the door of woodworking. So, I’m pretty excited about that. Because I really had lost all hope of having a life again. So, I definitely approach things a lot differently now. My injury has definitely slowed me down. I spend a lot more time looking at things. Once fun time was me that used to drive around, now, I have a car that drives me around and I enjoy the view.

I would say for anybody that is listening to what I’ve got to say is not to view your injury as a negative, but view it as a positive or a doorway to a new and different life. Not a life that you’ve lost. Okay. Part of your life. Yes, you’ll never go back to but a new life opens up to you and if you want to you can be anything that you set your mind to. So, on that note. Thanks for listening. And thank you for your time. Have a pleasant day. Bye.