Paul de Gelder lost his right arm and leg to a violent shark attack in Sydney Harbour when he was going about his work as a Navy clearance diver in February 2009. He was lucky to survive, let alone resume work as a diver. His life up to the attack had already been a pretty wild ride, with a madcap escape from suburban Canberra to a drug-and-alcohol fuelled stint working in Sydney strip clubs, then an unlikely career move: joining the Army.
Nothing can really prepare you for surviving and recovering from a shark attack, but Paul drew on all his life experiences to get him through in record time. He refused to take no for an answer at every stage of his rehab. While at first he resisted the fact that his story 'inspired people' he has come to accept that if other people can draw strength from his life experiences then it's worth talking about.
In the defence forces, Paul was inspired by the US Marines unofficial mantra: improvise, adapt and overcome. He didn't know how important that mantra would become in his survival.
Paul is very frank, a natural storyteller who takes 'never say die' to a whole new level.
About The Author
From rebel, drug dealer and strip club worker to adventurer, soldier, fitness enthusiast, Navy diver, shark attack survivor, top motivational speaker and mentor to schoolkids across Australia, Paul de Gelder is an exceptional young man. He is now determined to carve out the best future for himself he could possibly imagine. Paul is a true survivor and an incredible inspiration.