Paralysed and single – but I’ve had TWINS!

After his accident, Terry worried he'd never be a dad.

Here, Terry, 43, tells the story in his own words…

Rain fell on me as I turned the key into my house.

Aged 29, I was renovating the property and had gone to do some tidying up.

A little while later, my brothers Harry and Chris and my dad, Father Nicholas, arrived to help me.

‘Here put this on!’ Harry laughed, shoving a hard-helmet into my hands.

Even though we were just cleaning, I popped it on as a joke.

Suddenly, I noticed something…

The rubble on the freestanding wall and chimney next to me started to collapse.

I was renovating a property at the time (Credit: Supplied)

In the split-second it took for me to turn and look, it came crumbling down on top of me.

The weight of the heavy debris folded me in half, and in an instant, I was completely buried in the dark – barely able to breathe.

Soon cracks of light started to shine through as Dad and my brothers dug me out, then Harry lifted me up by my armpits.

‘I can’t feel my legs,’ I stammered. ‘I think I’ve done some major damage.’

They had been twisted into an awkward position, jutting out in different directions.

‘I can see your spine,’ Harry said, his voice shaking.

As we zoomed to the hospital, my breathing became shallow and I could feel myself slipping away.

‘I’m not going to make it,’ 
I whispered to Dad.

A pastor for the Greek Orthodox Church, Dad decided to give me my final rites. Then, I passed out.

Waking up days later, a doctor was at my bedside.

‘You’re paralysed from the waist down,’ he explained gently.

As his words sunk in, I broke down 
in tears.

I’d never walk again.

My parents, Father Nicholas and Anna (Credit: Supplied)

My mum, Anna, my sister Myrianthi, dad and brothers were all in the room with me.

Grabbing me, they held me close as we cried together.

The helmet I’d put on had saved my life, but my lungs and aorta were punctured during the accident, so I spent the next eight weeks in hospital recovering.

Then, heading to rehab, I had to learn how to navigate life without feeling in 
my legs.

The first few months were torture. I missed my old life. I’d loved running and going to the gym, and I’d worked as a cabinetmaker, which would be impossible now.

But then I decided I wasn’t just going to accept my fate.

Getting into sport, I excelled at javelin and shot-put. I even made it to the nationals.

I started travelling the world too, going to Greece and India. But it felt like something was missing.

I want to be a dad, I thought.

Growing up in a big family and being the eldest of five kids, I’d always dreamed of being a father. Now, I felt like it was an impossible fantasy.

After breaking up with a girlfriend, I did some tests to ensure I could still father children.

Thankfully, the accident hadn’t stolen that from me.

Being single at the time, I thought about my options.

Speaking to a few people who had children through an agency, I was introduced to a surrogate program in Thailand. In 2015, I flew there to fertilise eggs from an anonymous donor in Ukraine.

Then the embryos were implanted in a Thai surrogate mother.

Back home weeks later, I got a life-changing call.

I was amazed to learn I was having twins (Credit: Supplied)

‘You’re having twins!’ the doctor told me.

Two babies?! I thought, both terrified and excited.

I flew back to Thailand for the birth.

Outside the delivery room, I waited with my heart pounding.

The doctor brought out a baby boy first, who I named Nicos.

Cuddling him, I felt a surge of love I’d never experienced before.

Then, they brought out my little girl, Angel.

It was the proudest moment of my life, holding my two beautiful babies.

One time I thought I’d never have children, now I had a boy and a girl!

The connection was so strong and I felt so alive.

Mum and Myrianthi were with me and fell in love with my twins instantly too.

The first few months were difficult, but my amazing mum helped so much.

Angel and Nicos are my world (Credit: Supplied)

Growing up with a dad who can’t walk, I worried the twins wouldn’t understand.

And as Angel and Nicos grew older, they began asking about their mum.

‘We don’t have a mum,’ Angel piped up one day.

‘Yes you do,’ I said. ‘She lives in Thailand.’

I’m in touch with their surrogate often and one day, I want the twins to meet her.

But I know I give them enough love for two parents, and then some!

I’ve taught them that because Daddy can’t walk, they need to be gentle.

I still love bundling them into cuddles though!

‘Daddy, I love you,’ Nicos will call out.

Being in a wheelchair doesn’t hold me back from doing anything with the twins.

Now, they’re nearly four and are starting pre-school this year.

Before they came along, I felt like I was just waiting to die. Being a father has given me reason to keep going.

I may have brought them into the world, but they have given me life.

To hear more about Terry’s amazing family, you can follow him on Instagram.

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