Ed Jackson is an ex-rugby player who suffered a catastrophic injury. After diving into the shallow end of a swimming pool he was left paralyzed and quadriplegic from a devastating spinal injury. Most people would spend the rest of their lives trying to recover from this level of injury and many never walk again. Ed Jackson climbed Mount Snowden in Wales less than a year later. It wasn’t enough for him to get himself back on his feet, however. Now he leads others on a road to recovery and to the heights of the world’s tallest mountains.
The Brightest Future
As a young player, even before turning professional, Ed Jackson was one to watch. As a schoolboy, he captained his school’s team. This may not seem like such a huge achievement, but Jackson attended Millfield School in Somerset which has a rich rugby history and tradition and at the time was coached by celebrated former Bath player Jon Mallet. What he saw in that young man put him on the pathway to glory, and he was snapped up by Bath after graduation and became one of the brightest prospects in their academy.
A Glittering Career
He began his career with Bath and quickly became a well-known and well-liked player among rugby fans of all stripes. It was hard not to appreciate his talent and potential even if you supported an opposing team. His prowess on the pitch, and his excellent ‘rugby brain’ made him a much sought-after number 8, and his glittering career took him on to stints at Doncaster Knights, London Welsh, and Wasps, and each time he became a fan favorite. After his catastrophic accident, Wasps fans paid tribute with a standing ovation for the player in the 8th minute of their match against Saracens, with plenty of Saracens fans joining in to show their support for his talent and hopes for his recovery.
Millimeters To Mountains
After his accident, many people both in sports and in medicine doubted that Jackson would be able to fully recover and felt that he had a long road ahead of him to get his life anywhere close to back to normal. Jackson had other ideas. In the early days of his recovery, he managed to move his big toe just a few millimeters, and from there he was able to build his body back up to climb mountains. This is where his not-for-profit organization gets its name; M2M. He now helps raise money for spinal charities and takes people who have experienced similar injuries on journeys up mountains, including the heights of the Himalayan ranges in Nepal.
His story is incredibly inspiring and shows that human determination and drive can create miracles. The road to recovery is still not complete for Ed Jackson, and with the support of his wife and family, he still has physical challenges to overcome. His ability to tackle those challenges with confidence and self-belief is a testament to the potential that so many saw in this young athlete when he was just a schoolboy. After an injury that would leave most people bed-bound, Ed Jackson saw an opportunity to push himself to the highest heights and take other people with him.