Henry Fraser: ‘There were so many moments before my accident I took for granted’

A freak accident on a Portuguese beach left the sport-obsessed teenager and promising rugby player at the Saracens academy paralysed from the shoulders down. Now 25, he has found a new path with his remarkable artwork

On a blustery grey afternoon, which reminds Henry Fraser that winter is coming, it is light and quiet inside. His easel is to the left, where his latest intricate painting can be seen, as Fraser talks about an enriching life. Only his face and neck are alive with movement for his entire body is paralysed from the shoulders down. But Fraser addresses the devastating paralysis he suffered eight years ago, when he was 17, with a calm acceptance underpinned by defiance.

It needs an iron will to prosper as Fraser has done against devastating odds. The former academy player at Saracens, where his brother Will was a stalwart of the squad which won the Premiership and successive European Champions Cups, is now a mouth artist and the author of a moving book about the lessons he learned from paralysis.

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