Prior to 2004 Rhett was a walking person. Married with two adult children Rhett has had a varied career which has included automotive spare parts salesman, deer culler, then twenty years with the New Zealand police. During a violent incident Rhett received a serious injury on duty that saw him invalided from the police, which was a bitter blow for him. While policing Rhett was also an antique furniture restorer, and on leaving the police he and his wife ran a successful antique shop. During these years time was also found to buy, renovate and rent five rental houses and develop a thirteen-acre money pit also known as a life style block. Rhett’s interests were a passion for making old wooden furniture come alive again. Running was a lifetime commitment as was, and still is healthy eating. Hunting and shooting were very important activities. Reading and walking his dog were forms of relaxation and thinking times.
On 30 July 2004 all that changed in a matter of seconds. An innocuous 2.2 metre fall from a domestic dwelling construction site left Rhett with a seriously broken neck and paralysed from the level of his armpits to his toes, - 84% of his body. Even most of his arms and hands. There followed hospitalisation with major reconstruction surgery followed by six months at the Otara spinal unit, then discharge to a private hospital for the elderly in Whangarei where he lived for 2 ½ years. His 31-year marriage had ended six weeks after his fall at the instigation of his wife. During this time he rebuilt his life from the ground up, designed, planned and had built his own house, finally moving into that in June 2007 where he now lives with 24/7 care givers.
Rhett now has a new career path as a professional speaker, talking to corporate and industry groups about the consequences – the end result of a serious work place accident. This talk will amaze you with insight; candid gritty insight of how Rhett now lives and manages is daily routine. His body is broken, but the spirit and will to strive is still strong. Rhett now calls on those traits that saw him successful previously and will inspire others who think their lot may be difficult. Wanting no pity or concessions made Rhett will only ask for help when needed. It takes true adversity in life to bring out the character of a person and how they deal with the situation. Rhett shows this in every way with a cheerful and happy disposition, accepting of his condition but not giving in to it.
Rhett also has a truly inspirational talk about other near death work experiences while hunting and policing, all extremely interesting gripping stories told in a clear and concise manner. You will be left wondering how on earth this man is still alive. You will ponder just how much can life throw at one person and that they just continue to take an even bigger bit of life. Rhett has a saying – “It’s your life. Live it. No one else will do it for you”.
• Motivation / Inspiration
• Health & Safety Issues