x Abu Dhabi, UAEThursday 20 July 2017

'It would be nice to stand again'

Emirati keeps hope alive for technology that will allow him to walk again.

As Mohammed Al Bloushi was driving down Emirates Road from Sharjah to Dubai, he had no way to know that his life was about to change forever.

He was in his Jeep travelling at 100kph when the lorry behind him rammed into him, forcing him into another lorry in front of him.

The impact pushed his head into the steering wheel, breaking his neck.

"I did not seeing it coming," said Mr Al Bloushi, an Emirati who was 21 at the time. "It was just another day for me. I was on holiday from work and getting ready to go out."

The severe spinal injuries he suffered resulted in full paralysis from his chest downwards, and he is now confined to an electric wheelchair. But this did not break his spirit.

"It was very difficult accepting this as my fate in the beginning," he said. "I couldn't do the most basic tasks, such as brush my teeth or perform ablution. But with time you build strength, and the support from everyone around you keeps you going."

Now 29, Mr Bloushi has returned to his job in electronic services with Sama Dubai. While he has adjusted to his condition, he says a device to help him walk would be wonderful, even if just in the rehabilitation rooms.

"You need to start somewhere, perhaps with an intensive rehabilitation course, and then slowly progress," he said. "Technology may not be there yet, but it could be one day.

"I'd love to be able to go up the stairs on my own without using the lift, or simply take a walk in the park. It would be nice to stand on my own two feet again, to feel like I can regain control of my life."