Paul beats the odds

PUBLISHED: 12:38 13 July 2006 | UPDATED: 10:28 06 May 2010

Paul Reynolds

Paul Reynolds

TRAGEDY was turned into triumph by Paul Reynolds through sheer determination. The engineer who had to learn to write again after losing an arm in an hydraulic lift accident has overcome adversity to gain a first class honours degree at Newcastle Universit

TRAGEDY was turned into triumph by Paul Reynolds through sheer determination.

The engineer who had to learn to write again after losing an arm in an hydraulic lift accident has overcome adversity to gain a first class honours degree at Newcastle University.

Paul, who grew up in Biggleswade and attended Stratton Upper School, lost his left arm at the elbow at the age of 25.

The awful reality of that was that he had to give up his dream job as a marine engineer because his injury prevented him from going to sea.

But he was determined that he would lead a normal life and adapt to doing the one thing he had always wanted to do - to take up a degree course.

Paul, 30, who now lives in Boldon, Tyne and Wear, enrolled on a four-year degree course in mechanical engineering at Newcastle University.

He said: "It would have been easy to become depressed about the whole thing, but I set myself the goal of overcoming every adversity I came across.

"The first thing I had to do was to learn to write again with my (artificial) left hand. But I soon overcame that and I had no trouble with the course and threw myself into lots of activities outside the course as well.

"My personal philosophy is that you are only as disabled as you want to be."

Paul's personal tutor and head of the School of Mechanical and Systems Engineering at Newcastle University, Dr John Appleby, said: "Paul has been a model student - hard-working, cheerful, achieving at the highest level, a mature student in every sense of the word.

"He also made a major contribution to the Formula Student project this year, in which a group of students build and race a racing car for an international competition. His ability to manufacture things in the workshop was amazing in view of his disability."

Joining Paul at his graduation ceremony on Tuesday were his proud wife, Alison, and parents, Ros and Mike, who live in Old Warden.

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