Mouth and Foot Painter: Grant Sharman

Mouth and Foot Painter: Grant Sharman


My name’s Grant Sharman. I was a kid, 15 and a half years old playing rugby and I had a future ahead of me,
and then I wasn’t. I figured out at 14 what I wanted to do, I wanted to fly Hercules for about 12 years, then join Air New Zealand fly jumbo jets, make a truckload of money, retire at 50 with all the cool toys and that was it. 6th of July 1977, a day a bit like today, blue skies, I was physically fit, I was propping, I was up for this. It’s as if I had become a different person I think, this ruck had formed, they had
a really good halfback first five combination. I thought if they get the ball they’re going to score,
I just dove into the ruck. It was just like stop. I kind of woke up lying in the mud,
but I got this really sick feeling. Like you’re driving along and you hear the cops and you look down and think “oh no that’s for me”. Next thing, I woke up in a corridor
and I could see people around me but I do remember someone saying
“we need to take his boots off” but I saw the boots being put over there and the fact that I couldn’t feel that,
you know the whole wave of just panic. “Grant we are really sorry
but you’re never going to walk again”. At some point I was told
“You have got 10 years to live”. All I know is that 10 years stuck in. So I didn’t do a lot I would be at the gym and
lying on the mats and I would have a sleep. So there was a guy the unit called Bruce Hopkins
and he said to me one day, “You know, why don’t you have a go at painting?” and I said you know, “Duh, my hands don’t work”. And he said “Stick the brush in your mouth”, and I thought wooo head injury. But to be honest I was doing nothing. I had my first painting that I ever did and you know I looked at it and I
went to Bruce and I basically told him where he could stick his paintbrush,
and he said “No you can have another go”. And so I would work hard I’d put lots of hours into my art, it was that bad I needed to put lots of hours into my art. I could see the opportunity to live a full life, here was a career pathway if I was good
enough, you know, I can earn good money, I could be independent and back in the
seventies there weren’t a lot of opportunities for people who were paralysed. Oh I learnt about frustration, I learnt about patience. Success doesn’t come because you are talented they’re all factors, you know, luck and who you know. Success comes because you don’t give up. What’s not to like about my life? I think the wheelchair thing is annoying, you know there’s a bunch of things I can’t do. I have flown a plane, tick. Particularly in this day and age when
someone has a traumatic injury particularly a spinal cord injury you know
and they’re lying there, t here is a whole bunch of ignorance and I’m not interested in the person in the bed it’s their family, you know Mum, Dad,
husband wife, kids, relatives, for them, the world’s over so I want to talk to them I want to say “look you know what
little Johnny or Sally, sure it’s tough but there is nothing they can’t do if they want to do it, there is support out there, you know we’ve got strategies
for Africa, there’s mobility parks, you name it! And when I see people doing nothing with their lives, probably that is what they would have done irrespective, because a spinal injury doesn’t really change it, it just gives you a different set of
parameters to work through. So the message is what do you want to do? Do it. Wonder if Nike would like that,
do you think I could sell it to Nike? Update their ‘Do It’ thing? Just thinking.

9 thoughts on “Mouth and Foot Painter: Grant Sharman

  1. I’m unfortunately going to have to unsubscribe to attitude, as I’m sick of the reuploaded videos appearing in my subscriptions tab as ‘new’ when I have already watched them. What a shame.

  2. I really needed to watch this today. So inspiring. So strong. So brave. I want to have his strength and insight and courage.

  3. My philosophy entirely and I have an. SCI, C4 incomplete, T 5/6 complete, live life on your own terms and yes, Nike should take the slogan

  4. If the comments are right.. Please don't remove and reupload Attitude. At least tell us a valid reason for your reupload (like demonitization) in the discription of the video.

  5. music way to loud.

  6. Fantastic!

  7. wow what an attitude great inspiration!!! great work Neti

  8. Awesome kiwi.

  9. FAKE!

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