At 17-years-old Henry Fraser was a senior prefect with full colours at the prestigious Dulwich College, in southeast London.
Following in the footsteps of his older brother, Saracens flanker Will Fraser, Henry played his rugby with Saracens academy side.
However, Henry’s world would be turned on its head in the summer of 2009 when on holiday with his friends in Portugal.
The innocuous decision to dive into the water would leave him with a crushed and severed spine.
He found himself floating in the water.
Face down unable to scream for help, Fraser was sure he had taken his last breath.
Fortunately, Henry would be rescued from the water but would never regain movement below his shoulders.
— Henry Fraser (@henryfraser0) May 29, 2016
“My life was turned upside down but at some point you just have to let go of what you thought should happen and live in the reality… When you get bad news or circumstances change you have to deal with it. You must ‘accept what is and adapt’ because until you do this you can’t move on, and you end up wasting energy wishing things were better”, says Fraser.
“Before my accident my life revolved around being active; it was my release. I was a very keen rugby player, but now that release has transformed into something more creative.”
— Kieran Gibbs (@KieranGibbs) November 26, 2018
His transformation would see him become a Sunday Times bestselling author with his memoirs The Little Big Things, which even garnered a foreword from J.K. Rowling.
Henry would also go on to become a mouth artist and a motivational speaker, inspiring others through his own triumph over adversity.
My injury and my disability have given me so much. I've been given a confidence I never knew I had. I've been given opportunities I only dreamed about. I've been given a way of dealing with problems that I used to struggle with before my accident. Adversity has given me a gift. pic.twitter.com/76va5nqYNM
— Henry Fraser (@henryfraser0) April 16, 2018
RugbyPass meets the man that has triumphed in adversity, as Henry Fraser tells us his Exceptional Story.
You may also like: Leo Cullen responds to Stuart Lancaster speculation
Sign up to our mailing list here and we’ll keep you up to the minute with weekly updates from the world of rugby.