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A disability that brought on suicidal thoughts

THE FIGHTER: Vlyssess Edwards in his wheelchair 

BY:Meshach Atkinson 

For Twenty Seven-year-old Vlyssess Edwards, developing a disability was not something he ever envisioned. Dealing with this new change to life brought about a variety of emotions and thoughts including those of a suicidal nature.

A disability that brough on suicidal thoughts
Edwards on one of his out and above moves to adopt to his disability

Edwards was eighteen years old when he was struck down by a motorcar on the West Coast Demerara. An accident that has left him, a budding sports enthusiast at the time, suffering from spinal cord injuries and bruises about his body.

While battling with the changes associated with now being a member of the Persons with Disabilities Community, Edwards also battled with suicidal thoughts which he had to fight very hard to overcome.

He explained that now just getting out of bed demands a lot of effort and energy “The transition period to becoming a wheelchair user is a very depressing and saddening one, one that oftentimes is associated with suicidal thoughts, for me I knew it wasn’t healthy.”

Vlyssess Edwards stares across the open field thinking about the day it all happened. It has been 9 years since the accident that changed his life and the effects are still there, the scars remain and the memories are still fresh in his mind.

He is however grateful for having his life spared and continues to offer appreciation to those around him, before the event that changed his life.

Prior to the accident, Edwards was very active as he had one goal, which was to become a professional certified football referee with the Guyana Football Federation.

On the morning of the accident, he awoke and rode his bike for training as usual when he was struck by a motorcar, leaving him on the road.

Speaking with the BIG Smith News Watch at the Leanora Track and Field Stadium, the now, small business owner revealed that he is an advocate for persons with disabilities.

Edwards is also a third-year student at the Jain, University of Barcelona, a current student at the Barcelona Executive Business School and is studying at the University of the People.

During our interview, Edwards made known that the transition could be challenging at times.

“A lot of issues started to arise out of my situation, relationship, employment among other stress but I had to break out of these barriers and these train of thoughts associated with my situation. I am happy I made it this far”

The 27-year-old recalled that he was told by doctors that it wouldn’t be possible for him to ever walk again. He also noted the importance of keeping one’s mind occupied.

Some things he suggested that helped keep his mind clear are reading and playing a lot of video games. Reading he noted is what prepared him for the studies he is currently undertaking.

For Edwards going out into public places or taking a walk with friends is important for persons with disabilities both mentally and physically.

“It is important for persons with disabilities to be away from the confine of their homes, at times being in the confine of your home too much can be a mental burden as your own home can be your prison at times.”