LC talk with inspirational speaker Alex Lewis

During the last week of term, we welcomed a very special guest, Alex Lewis, to speak to the girls in LC. He was recommended to me by one of our pupils, Sophie, and I felt determined to support this request to show Sophie and her peers that their suggestions are considered and valued. From what Sophie mentioned, Alex did indeed sound like someone incredibly inspiring who would be wonderful to invite to CLC.

Alex Lewis was on the stage as all the LC girls pressed into the PAC, while a short documentary of his experience was shown on the large screen behind him. Afterwards, Alex shared the story of his extraordinary tenacity and courage with the very attentive audience. The story is summed up best in the words of Sophie from LC1 in her initial letter to me about Alex Lewis:

“In November 2013, Alex from Stockbridge in Hampshire, was close to death. He contracted Strep A toxic shock syndrome, the unrelenting virus, resulting in the loss of all four of his limbs.

Five years on, Alex has undergone an amazing journey requiring over 100 hours of surgery and months of rehabilitation. His incredible determination and willpower against this adversity is truly remarkable, leading him to accomplish a tandem sky dive and 100km kayak around Greenland. All of this was possible with the support of his partner Lucy, son Sam and friends and family, as well as the superb medical team.

I would like to give Alex the opportunity to share his experiences and to speak about how these have taught him that a positive mindset paves the way to a fulfilling life, that dealing with change and turning obstacles into opportunities can make anything possible.

Alex is keen for young people to become aware of people with disabilities and hopes that as we grow up perhaps we can use our skills to develop and aid the futures of people like him.

Alex was my neighbour and friend and he is now my biggest hero. I would like to introduce Alex to the CLC community to see if we can help make a difference.”

The hour we spent together with Alex Lewis was a moving and enlightening occasion. We were inspired by Alex and very interested to hear how he and those supporting him are making such an impact in educating others about the need to help disabled individuals to live full and independent lives. To find out more about Alex Lewis, please visit www.alex-lewis.co.uk.

Mrs Oosthuizen, Head of Lower College

Alex Lewis 5