FASHION

How personal styling helped me overcome a life changing accident

Spinal Cord Injury (SCI)

Heidi Herkes

The accident that paralyzed me

Hi, my name is Heidi and I’m a 39 year old personal stylist from London. Around 4 years ago, I woke up after being in a coma in intensive care to a nightmare that was soon to become my reality. I had fallen down the stairs at my home and broken my neck leaving me paralyzed from the chest down. I quickly learnt that I would never walk again and would be destined to a wheelchair for the rest of my life, not to mention the little movement in my hands. My whole life was hanging upside down on a thread.

Facing the world after my accident

After nearly 1 year in rehab, it was time to leave the bubble and face the world I once knew. This is where the enormity of my injury struck me. My confidence and self esteem were shot to pieces. I was faced daily with the difficulty of not being able to express myself as the woman that I once was. This forced me to examine myself from the point of view of not having the perfect posture, figure or appearance but still wanted to look and feel good.

How personal styling helped me with self-confidence

I decided to stop feeling sorry for myself and do something worthwhile. I decided to retrain as a personal stylist and gain invaluable experience, working with some of the top stylists out there. It was one of the best things I’ve ever done in the sense that it was not only fantastic helping others, but also a journey of building self-confidence and self-discovery.

Win back self confidence through adversity

I now run a personal styling consultancy specializing in helping people discover their perfect colors, style and how to dress for their body type. My inspiration is to embrace individuality and diversity and push through the boundaries of disability, especially in the fashion world. I would like  to share my journey, in the hope to inspire others to change how they see themselves and realize that anything is possible to overcome. When one door closes, a double door opens.

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