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Programme Speaker: Olivia Giles

Blog – Carolyn Lightfoot

Delegates were moved to tears as Olivia Giles shared her powerful and truly inspirational story.

From feeling unwell with flu like symptoms, 24 hours later Olivia was in a medical induced coma suffering from meningococcal septicaemia. Waking to find all four limbs had been amputated Olivia saw this as an opportunity to live when she had been so close to death. Rehabilitation was a long steady climb out of a dark well, part of which was relentless exercise every day.

On finally returning home she wanted to use every breath to make a difference. She founded the charity 500 miles to provide otherwise unaffordable prosthesis and orthosis, bringing dignity, hope and a second chance to those Africans in need.

Olivia challenged us to appreciate life is too precious to squander and make choices to do something; stand up for what we want and challenge ourselves as only when on the edge of a cliff will we learn to fly; and to listen to our hearts in order to choose which opportunities to pursue. Being connected to the issue will create our obligation to try.

No matter how big or small we all can deliver the difference.