In April 2017, professional rugby player Ed Jackson was told he would never walk again.
Today, he is an adventurer, charity founder, broadcaster, speaker, author, brand ambassador and mentor, driven by a desire to encourage others to never let adversity stop them from achieving their goals.
During a weekend off from playing rugby for the Newport Gwent Dragons, Ed dived into a shallow swimming pool and suffered extensive spinal injuries. He dislocated his C6/C7 vertebrae and exploded a disc, which
caused the shards to slice through the left hand-side of his spinal cord. This removed 8mm of spinal cord, leaving him with a mere 4mm.
In addition to this, Ed had to be resuscitated three times in the ambulance
after the accident occurred. During the following months, Ed endured extensive surgeries and rehabilitation.
Within a year, he went from flickers of movement in his toes to pushing his body to its limit, scaling mountains.
Ed’s sheer grit and ruthless defiance meant he was able to discover a new purpose after his 10-year rugby career abruptly ended. Wanting to also pay homage to the astonishing recovery he’d achieved, Ed developed a passion to help and motivate others in similar situations. Co-founding Millimetres 2 Mountains alongside his wife Lois Jackson and former England Rugby international player Olly Barkley, their mission was
to create positive change for people attempting to overcome mental health challenges.
Through exploration and adventure, they inspire individuals to redefine their own limitations to seek a brighter future. Having had
a profound impact on countless people, Ed has managed to raise over £200,000 since his accident for a number of charities including Millimetres 2 Mountains, Restart Rugby, Wings for Life, Neverest Orthopaedics
and the NHS.
2021 has seen Ed launch his debut podcast, It’s Good to Walk. Aiming to bolster his quest to change people’s perspectives, his conversations with fellow inspirational people stress the importance of communication while
championing honesty and vulnerability. Each chat also uncovers some practical advice and wisdom for the podcast’s loyal listeners.
Ed is truly dedicated to inspiring a positive mindset and encouraging others to challenge themselves. A motivational role model, his broadcasting talents were demonstrated when presenting Channel 4’s European
Champions Cup rugby highlights and recent commentary for the Six Nations.
The sky truly is the limit for Ed and his mission to break the limits of disability.Ed Jackson comments: ‘Sometimes in life we are faced with hurdles which seem too high to even contemplate getting over. It’s times like these we look outside of ourselves to find inspiration. I believe my
purpose in life is to assist others in realising that they are tough, they can achieve – and no hurdle is too high.
As a recovering quadriplegic, I am a living example that no matter how impossible it seems, you can move forward into a brighter future. I’m so excited to see what can be achieved as people realise that they can,
and should dream big.
Images courtesy of https://edjackson8.com/about/