IMPROVISE. ADAPT. OVERCOME.
These three words – the mantra of the Australian Army - resonated with Paul de Gelder the first time he heard them. Paul chased adventure wherever he could find it, from his wild ride as a hoodlum teen and his drug-and-alcohol fuelled stint working in a strip club to hauling his way up to the elite echelons of the defence forces.
But trouble hunted him down in the form of a brutal shark in February 2009. Paul lost two limbs, and his career as a daredevil navy clearance diver was flung into jeopardy. Drawing on everything his eventful life had taught him, 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.
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.
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