Flight of a Lifetime by Philip Watling

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  • Language ‏ : ‎ English
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After university I got my dream job: working with horses. All was going well until December 1994 when my life changed forever. Crossing the road on the way to work, a car smashed into my legs causing me to fall on the bonnet and dislocate my shoulder. As the car braked, I bounced off and cracked my head against the side of the bus causing a massive head injury and my heart to stop beating… I died! Fortunately, death wasn’t terminal and since being hit by that car I went through a period of great change and learnt many things; I had experiences I did not understand and saw things mankind maybe should not see. I started writing these things down… Flight of a Lifetime started as an autobiography about my life, my death and my resurrection and has evolved into a truly inspirational book that will make the reader laugh and cry, often at the same time. Yet, despite its theme, it is not a miserable book – I wrote about my death and made it funny! Chapter One is an overview of my life from birth, pretty much, through education, university, my job with horses and the day of my accident (death). Chapter Two tells of my ‘last’ month working at a riding stable in South East London, whilst Chapter Three tells of the day of, and three weeks after, my accident and spell in the Trauma Unit. Chapters Four and Five tell of my further five weeks in The Royal London Hospital, whilst Chapters Six to Eight tell of my five weeks at the Lister Hospital, and Chapters Nine to Thirteen go into a lot of detail of my rehabilitation at Northwick Park Hospital. Obviously the better I recovered, the more I could do and the more I could write about my recovery. So many things happened around my accident and recovery to aid in that resurrection, including a trip to stay with family in Belgium. Whilst there I wrote Chapter Fourteen to tell of my explanation regarding my extreme increase in confidence. The book ends with Chapter Fifteen, which tells of the end of my first year, culminating with a party to celebrate the fact that I had lived a year, attended by family, friends and neighbours, as well as staff and therapists from all three of my hospitals. Almost ends…I did several things between December 1995 and July 1997, many of which were pertinent to my recovery; a lot of people urged me to continue writing, as the story hadn’t finished, so I added an epilogue, if you will. Chapter Sixteen is the shortest, yet covers the longest time – eighteen months! Obviously, I could have written forever, and have a sequel in me, but I needed it to end at some point and my father gave me the perfect quote on 6 July 1997 and the book ends then. Throughout my book there are small exerts from family, therapists etc, giving their feelings on what was happening and also explaining how they were involved or how they aided my recovery. Also included are photos of events written about in the book, as well as photocopies of some of my hospital records. Plus, the front and back cover were designed by a very close friend of mine. Flight of a Lifetime may not change the world, but it may make people’s perception of the world change. If enough people read it we may all end up getting along and stop fighting – a book to end all wars? Together we can all change the world and bring peace.

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