“Hilton eat your heart out! This place is brilliant. My wife and I travel quite a bit and there is nothing like Sargood on Collaroy. The fact that the whole resort is accessible is unique. There’s a wide range of activities from bush push to yoga and everything in between. Nothing is a problem for the staff and the local community is so welcoming. You feel normal here. It’s five stars from me!”—Guest Sam Bailey.
At just 19 years of age, Sam Bailey suffered a spinal cord injury (SCI) in a car accident while jackerooing in the Northern Territory. He became paralysed from the chest down with only limited use of his arms and hands and unable to regulate his body temperature. He lost bowel and bladder control and part of his lung capacity.
Through hard work and determination in the decades that followed, Sam has managed to build a “ripper of a life” for himself. Today he and wife Jenny, run a 1,250-hectare beef cattle property. Sam has learnt to fly an ultralight aircraft and his next goal is to become the first quadriplegic in the world to fly a helicopter.
Relaxing on holiday at Sargood on Collaroy, Sam reflected on his journey and the impact he foresees Sargood having on people with SCI.
“Sargood is ground breaking, a total game changer and a role model for what is possible. We were on cloud nine throughout our stay!”
Sam vividly recalls being “absolutely terrified” when he returned home from hospital following his accident and the hard times that followed.
“It’s the mental anguish that you are not prepared for. I was no longer ‘Sam the Gladiator’. I found myself in some dark places at times. It’s a massive readjustment not only for the individual but for the whole family.
“I wonder how things would have been different for myself and my parents if Sargood was around back then… a place that breaks the ice where everyone can relax and reconnect. Thank goodness it is here now,” said Sam. “I take my hat off to the people who are making Sargood happen.”