I seem to most of my time on this blog complaining about something or other. That is understandable in the light of the relentless attacks on Access to Justice for ordinary people.
But today, for a change I want to pay tribute to a young man who has faced adversity beyond anything that I could imagine and who is an inspiration to us all.
Richard Hopley has been disabled from birth. My colleague Helen Barry in EAD’s Clinical Negligence Dept acted for him many years ago in a successful case against the NHS. He has no speech and no independent mobility. But he is as bright as the rest of us – well brighter than most to be honest!
I have met him on a few occasions. I have never come across anybody more determined to make the best of his life despite his massive limitations. His communication back then, was by way of a keyboard which he operated with his nose. He has now moved on to an iPad, which he still controls with his nose but which is presumably a bit more comfortable.
The Liverpool Echo has reported this week that Richard has just published his first book of poetry –
He describes one of his poems in the article –
“I can look out if my window onto the river and, to me, water tells stories in its movement. My favourite poem I have ever written is River Book, where the waves are like pages of a book that you can actually read, placing new thoughts in your mind.
“I wonder as I look on the surface, my mind dives in, revealing untold stories.”
The last few years have been a challenge for those of us who seek to secure justice for victims of negligence, of whatever sort. As Governments, insurers and the media make the work harder and harder, it is tempting to wonder if it is all worth while.
Then a Richard Hopley comes along and says it all for us. And says it in a way that no blog could ever do. He is an inspiration, not only to other victims but to all of us.
Thank you Richard!