Life didn’t stop for determined Mark Ward when he broke his neck in a freak accident in 2002 - it just changed direction.
Only 17 at the time, Mark, from Fleckney, became paralysed from the chest down.
But the former Robert Smyth pupil passed his A-levels, did a degree in Business and followed it with post-graduate qualifications in law.
Now 30, he’s determinedly pursuing his ambition to be a solicitor.
But there’s a problem - transport. And that’s where even Mark realised he needed a helping hand.
“My own vehicle just means independence really,” explained Mark.
“Law is already quite a hard area to get into, and having to rely on bus services and so on to get about is not ideal.”
But this week Mark was presented with a specially adapted vehicle to help him achieve his ambition.
The money raised is from Kibworth and Fleckney Rotary Club, Matt Hampson, a Masonic Lodge, The Dog & Gun Pub in Kilby, Fleckney running club, donations from local companies and individuals, and Kibworth High School, where Mark was also a pupil.
Roughly half the cost of the vehicle has been raised or pledged.
“We know a vehicle won’t solve all Mark’s problems but it will make a huge difference to his life,” said Graham Thompson, from the Rotary Club of Kibworth and Fleckney.
“He has achieved so much since his accident and with independent transport he can achieve so much more.”
Mark broke his neck while on a Duke of Edinburgh trip in Africa. On the last day of his trip he dived into the sea, and hit his head on a sandbank.
After all his hard work, he is now looking for a job with a law firm - and the the chances of that happening will be improved if he has independent transport.
In fact, Mark went for a work experience interview this week in Leicestershire with a legal firm looking to expand soon.
“I’ve got my fingers crossed that it will come to something in the future - and I’m sure having the car helped,” he said.