Defining a life without limits

Faced with life-changing injuries at just 22, Mark has turned his attitude around to not be controlled by his limits but to achieve more than he ever dreamed.

Mark Daniels calmly lists his injuries when a distracted driver crossing his lane and t-boning his motorbike, spinning Mark off his bike and off the road. His demeanour means it takes a moment to understand the enormity of his injuries.

Saved by a passing motorist who stemmed his blood flow, Mark was admitted with a broken neck, 11 broken ribs, four fractures in his femur, a punctured kidney, a grazed heart, broken right hand, a split femoral artery. He had died three times and was in a coma for ten days.

Incredibly he survived.

Despite the hospital surgeon’s fierce efforts, they were eventually forced to amputate Mark’s leg below his knee. The devastated surgeon cried alongside Mark’s parents.

As a young fit sailor who’d just returned from a North East Asian Deployment tour with the Navy; Mark’s life was forever changed. He questioned everything and became suicidal thinking of life as an amputee.

His boss put him in contact with Paul De Gelder, the Navy clearance diver who’d lost two limbs from a shark attack in Sydney Harbour. A turning point for Mark, Paul inspired Mark to fight again, to be alive and to start pushing the limits of his own body.

While he continued to battle against ups and downs, infections, and continuing suicidal thoughts; Mark eventually realised that for a strong mind, he needed physical strength.

Soon afterwards Mark met a personal trainer who inspired him to work with his injuries, and taught him that he had no limitations.

Six weeks ago, Mark chose to have a second amputation. This unusual decision was easy for him ,as it will allow him to create a life for himself with no limits – including running, swimming, riding a bike, even driving a car.

As part of Brant Garvey’s team, Mark is taking on the Half Marathon at the HBF Run, with the goal of joining Brant in the Paralympics. This year he’s supporting Rebound WA.

Realising how his attitude turnaround could also inspire others, Mark has also started his giving motivational keynote speeches, inspiring others to define their own limits.