Man paralysed since age of 15 claims drone has given him new perspective on life

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A 37-year-old man who has been paralysed since the age of 15 has been given a new perspective on life thanks to a drone, the Jersey Evening Post reports.

James Bedding fell from a sea wall 22 years ago, suffering a serious spinal injury which left him quadriplegic.

Over the past four years, Bedding has developed a passion for drones that he says helps him access places his body won’t let him.

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Bedding told the Jersey Evening Post: “It’s massive for me. One thing I really miss is surfing; I used to love surfing when I was young.

“Now I can fly the drone out there and see people waiting for a wave like I used to. It sounds silly but I can sort of wait with them, I get that same sensation, that same buzz. It’s really bizarre but it’s so cool.

“The drone lets me get out and about and see different places. Even if it’s rough terrain I can get there and I can fly up to it.”

“I went out with Healing Waves [a charity that helps people to surf] a while ago which was ace so big shout out to those guys. It’s the little things I miss like the sound of water on the bottom of the board and seeing the beach from the sea. It was the first time I had been in the water in over 20 years.”

Bedding uses a regular drone controller at the front of his wheelchair with specially-made grooves added to the thumb controls, allowing him to move them using a pointer that he puts in his mouth.

Bedding has become a licensed commercial drone pilot, being awarded his licence in July after months of training and practical tests.  

He also hopes to set up a company allowing him to sell the photos he takes, which he will call Quad Photography, a play on words based on the fact that the DJI Mavic Pro he uses is a quadcopter and that he is quadriplegic.

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Patrick Cremona

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