Navy diver, shark attack survivor, author and motivational speaker
IMPROVISE... ADAPT... OVERCOME...
These three words – a mantra of the Australian Army – always resonated with Paul de Gelder. But they would take on new meaning after he was attacked by a shark in February 2009. Paul lost two limbs, and his career as an elite navy clearance diver was flung into jeopardy.
Drawing on everything his eventful life had taught him – from his wild teen years to his haul up the ranks of the defence forces – Paul left nothing to chance in his recovery.
He fought through excruciating pain, smashing challenge after challenge, and amazing the medical staff with his will to succeed. His inspiring story takes ‘never say die’ to a whole new level.
Growing up in Australia’s suburbs, Paul never really felt like he fitted in. Feeling like his life was out of his control, he began to self harm, and eventually turned to drugs.
But something in Paul always told him that there was a world out there that he needed to explore – he just didn’t know how to access it.