How I rebuilt my life after a car accident left me in a wheelchair

Jade Simmons got her life back on track and found a new career with help from us following a serious car accident.

For Jade Simmons, it was a life-changing decision that led to a career in fitness – six years after being told that she would never walk again.

“I had mild to moderate brain damage. I was on a lot of medication and needed 24-hour care,” she recalls. “I couldn’t do the basic things like having a bath on my own or making a cup of tea.”

Jade, 25, first came to the YMCA gym, back in 2007. She hoped to rebuild her strength and combat the mild depression she encountered following a serious car accident which hospitalised her for three months and left wheelchair bound through most of her recovery period.

Personal development 

With help from Club staff, Jade’s exercise programme aimed at increasing her walking and strengthening her weaker left-hand side: “It was the best thing that ever happened to me and I loved it.” She went from strength to strength and, before long, had completed a Coachability course that enabled her to help others with similar disabilities to become more active. 

Jade started to turn the seemingly impossible, back to possible. Gaining a YMCAfit Level 2 Gym Instructor qualification, followed by a Level 3 Diploma in Personal Training, Jade’s determination grew. 

“My instructor was fantastic and really understanding. He helped make things simple and easier to take in, and really helped with my confidence. You would never guess I came from being in a wheelchair.”

Fighting fit

Jade now works as a Personal Trainer, something she’d never dreamed of before her accident – she plans to keep studying ante- and postnatal exercises in the future. Another positive gained from becoming a PT, is how much Jade enjoys helping her clients achieve their goals.  

“I want to work with lots of different types of clients, and I want to feel this way about personal training forever," she says. "I still have pain and difficulties and get stressed out at various times – but without help from YMCAfit I don’t know where I would be today.”

Watch video

Hear Jade talk about her inspiring journey from car accident to successful career.

YMCAfit, YMCA Club and YMCA Awards are all Central YMCA's operations. Read more about Central YMCA and its four operations.