She made headlines for perhaps being the first ever paraplegic surfer, albeit duct taped, to the back of another surfer. Sadly, though she later passed away due to health complications, she has left an inspirational story for us all.
It was a bitter pill to swallow for Parisian-born Pascale Honore. After moving to Australia and settling in Elliston, and later Byron Bay in Adelaide, the nature-loving woman was involved in a serious car accident in her late 30s, leaving her paralyzed from the waist down.
Stoked to catch up with these two! Love them so much
Pascale describes in the video how hard it was for her initially, but she refused to let her disability define who she was. She said, “After rehab, I started to look at what I’ve got, (rather than) what I haven’t got,” Pascale said, as reported by TIME.
“My aim then was to learn to live a different way, to get out of rehab and back to my kids. I always loved the ocean, and while I never surfed with a board, I did a lot of bodysurfing and swimming. And I always felt at ease in the water, putting my head under and being in a different world.”
Despite bouts of depression, Pascale kept up her love of the outdoors.
“I’ve always been active, so I had to be active in a different way,” Pascale said.
Their home was a stone’s throw away from the ocean, so she would often enjoy sitting by the cliffside to watch her two sons, Tom and Morgan, ride the waves.
Deep in her heart, however, Pascale harbored a dream of her own…
Knowing that Pascale wanted to experience the surf once again, Tyron Swan, a friend of her sons, came up with the idea to duct tape Pascale to his back.
“We could just duct tape you onto my back I don’t see why we couldn’t,” said Tyron.
So, after many practice sessions—and despite her sons’ concern over her safety—on a beautiful day, Tyron paddled out on his board with 90 pounds (approx. 41 kg) of fleshy happiness strapped to his back, and together, they hit the drop.
Amazingly, Tyron’s plan worked and Pascale’s dream was realized 18 years after the accident—she was able to experience the surf again.
“That first wave was mind-blowing, I tried to take in the color, the sound, the smell of the ocean,” Pascale said, per The Inertia. “I looked up to this wall of water—I felt part of it. That first wave got me addicted, I just wanted to do it again. It was the ultimate connection, riding the ocean.”
Pascale has this message for everyone: “Regardless of your limitations, you can still have a dream and anything is possible.”
Pascale Honore passed away due to health complications in 2016. She was 52.
In the wake of her death, her son Tom wrote, “She is living proof that anything really is possible!”
Check out Pascale’s story in the multi-award-winning video below:
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