Sam Bailey is a beef cattle farmer, ultralight pilot, husband, professional public speaker and best-selling author. He has achieved all of those from a wheelchair following a C6/C7 spinal cord injury at the age of 19.
From a childhood growing up in the Australian bush to a car accident in the outback that turned his life upside down and its aftermath, his story epitomises the great Australian spirit of ‘having a go’.
He has used that spirit to beat the odds to fulfill his life-long dream to be a farmer, learning to ride a four-wheel bike; devising a hoist to get into farm machinery and ultimately learning to fly an ultralight.
Sam then found his soul mate in former Tamworth-based ABC radio Rural Reporter, Jenny Black – who he proposed to “live” on regional radio. They went on to appear on ABC TV’s “Australian Story”, become public speakers and co-write their best seller “Head Over Heels”.
Today they live and work together on their beef cattle property in North West NSW, in between traveling the country telling their story and giving inspiration to others. Sam is also working towards becoming the first quadriplegic in the world to fly a helicopter.
They are thrilled to become Ambassadors for the Sargood Foundation and can’t wait to support our work to make a positive and lasting difference to people who suffer traumatic spinal cord injuries and their families.
“I’ll never forget how terrified I was when I first came home from the spinal unit. It’s the mental anguish you’re not prepared for. I was no longer ‘Sam the Gladiator’. It was a massive readjustment, not just for me but for the whole family.
“I wonder how things would have been different for me and my parents if Sargood was around back then….a place that breaks the ice where everyone can relax and reconnect. Thank goodness it is here now.
“I take my hat off to the people who are making Sargood happen and Jenny and I are very proud to be doing what we can to help.”