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A Soldier's extraordinary journey back from paralysis

Authors: Billy Hedderman
Military, Inspiration
C Format

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‘I woke to the sight of a hospital ceiling. For that first blissful second, I forgot that I was paralysed.’

Praise for Billy’s book

‘inspirational’ … ‘Excellent’… ‘Fantastic read’ … ‘Read this book!

Incredibly powerful story – Really solid read. It’s a frightening tale, made so very real by the matter-of-fact telling.’

‘Inspiring read – Easy 5 stars, what an amazing read! Billy is an absolute hero and superhuman!’

On 31 December 2014 Billy Hedderman suffered a catastrophic injury to his spinal cord while body-boarding on the Sunshine Coast, paralysing him almost completely from the neck down.  When asked if he would walk again, his doctor simply said, ‘I dunno … maybe.’  Yet, incredibly, within just seven months of his injury, he was able to beat the odds and run a 10km race in under an hour.

This is the powerful story of Billy’s recovery and a fascinating account of his service as an Officer in the elite Special Forces unit, the Army Ranger Wing of the Irish Army.  It was from this service that he took the never-say-die attitude that helped him prevail against all medical expectations to recover and serve as an Infantry Officer in the Australian Army.  It is a story of almost unbelievable personal resilience and mental toughness, which will amaze and inspire.

Author and Army Ranger Billy Hedderman’s journey back from paralysis

Interview with RTE Radio 1 – Listen here

Billy Hedderman

Billy Hedderman

Born and raised in Cork, Billy became an Irish Army Infantry Officer in 2003. His Irish military service included overseas deployments to Chad and Bosnia and service in the Irish Special Forces’ Army Ranger Wing, where he served as a platoon commander from 2010–2013. Billy holds a vast range of specialist military qualifications including military free-fall, survival, recon […]

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7 reviews for Unbowed

  1. inspiring read – Easy 5 stars, what an amazing read! Billy is an absolute hero and superhuman!

  2. Will read again – Amazing book.
    Billy narrates his story by alternating the timeline for each chapter. One chapter he is describing life after his accident, the next he talks about his life before.
    Read this book!

  3. 5 stars – Brilliant. Fantastic read.

  4. an inner struggle with happy ending – This true story was an excellent read

  5. Incredibly powerful story – Really solid read. It’s a frightening tale, made so very real by the matter-of-fact telling.
    The structure is nice too – hoping to and fro to the past and the time leading up to and after the accident.
    There’s also a lot to be learned about motivation, positivity, grit and determination.

  6. Excellent – Great book. Great descriptions of army life which makes it all easy to understand. A real great read about positivity and willpower

  7. Inspirational Officer – An absolute inspirational account of the mindset required to attempt and pass SF selection and how that mindset was a
    applied to overcome the biggest ‘challange’ anyone could be expected to face. The determination, resilience and positivity adopted to overcome this life altering challenging situation he found himself in is absolutely incredible given the task at hand and initial outlook. The book is exceptionally well written and keeps you entirely immersed in the manner in which it alternates between his driven and relentless progression in his rehabilitation and a detailed account of how they correlate to challenges and learning outcomes of his distinguished career as an Infantry and SF Officer in the Irish Defence Forces. A truly inspirational officer and individual.

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