A new chapter in an amazing Australian Story is unfolding in 2016.
Sam and Jenny Bailey’s journey began when she interviewed him about overcoming the challenge of becoming a quadriplegic in a car accident.
It is a love story that continues to capture the hearts and minds of everyone who hears it. At the Illawarra Connection the couple revealed how their relationship is going to new heights.
Sam already flies an ultralight around his farm. But his biggest dream is now being realised. He is set to become the first quadriplegic helicopter pilot in the world so he can land on school ovals and share his story with children all over Australia..and show show them anything is possible.
Helifirst is being launched with him landing on Bondi Beach. By his side will be Jenny. With so many modifications required he needs to have a co-pilot. So she is also learning fly.
After a decade of work the Bailey’s are close to achieving their goal with funding from the Commonwealth Bank. It wants to help them spread their motivational story to children. Their helicopter is fully modified and they have three months of pilot training ahead. And a second book is coming called You Don’t Need Wings to Fly.
“I am a very lucky bloke. I get to spend every day..with an extraordinary girl who came into my life and saw straight through all this,’’ Sam said.
When they met ABC radio’s Jenny Black did not see a person with a disability. She just saw Sam. They married in 1999 and featured on Australian Story in 2000. The response made them realise they had a message of hope for others experiencing hardship. Their book (Head Over Heels) has been reprinted 17 times.
“We are unfortunately unable to have our own kids but we feel we have a whole country of kids to go and inspire. I think it is one of life’s greatest privileges..sharing your life with your best mate. It just gets better and better. I simply love being in love with her,” he said.
Jenny said she also felt lucky.
“To me Sam isn’t disabled,” she said.
“Sam is just Sam. He has a few things he can’t do but hey we have all got things we can’t do. It is the best decision I ever made. I loved my job….but I love my life even more now. And I get to learn to fly a helicopter. That was so not on my bucket list. It is now. I am a little bit nervous.”
More from Tuesday night’s Illawarra Connection dinner at http://www.illawarramercury.com.au/story/3532799/beginning-and-end-at-tic/?cs=300/.