'Where shall we go?" asks Hilary Lister, laughing. The motor boat that towed us out of Portsmouth Harbour has just cast us off, and now she's in charge. A very noticeable change occurs immediately. Suddenly she's happy. And free. Sailing does that to her, she says. "It's given me my life again."
She means this quite literally. Hilary is quadriplegic, paralysed from the neck down by reflex sympathetic dystrophy, a degenerative condition of the nervous system. It started with shooting pains in her legs when she was in her teens, which doctors first dismissed as growing pains. As her condition has worsened, she has had to give up her life bit by bit - her mobility, then her career as a biochemist, a secondary career as a clarinet teacher, her independence. She admits she's been very close to overdosing on painkillers.Then, a couple of years ago, a friend took her sailing for the first time.
Resto da história no The Guardian
Site da volta à Grã-Bretanha (link)