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Never Say Die [Paperback]

Melanie Davies , Lynne Barrett-Lee
4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (40 customer reviews)
Price: £7.99 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over £10. Details
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Book Description

26 Nov 2009

On a Saturday morning in May 1980, Melanie Bowen, a pretty fifteen year old, ran down the stairs of her parents’ home in Port Talbot, grabbed her leather jacket and crash helmet, yelled a goodbye, and then walked out of the front door into the sunshine for what was to be the last time in her life. Never Say Die is the true story of what followed…

Since the motorcycle crash that left her paralysed from the chest down, Melanie's life has been one of extremes. On the down side, she has endured 5 horrific months of despair and indignity in rehabilitation, undergone a colostomy at 23, been in another serious car crash, suffered syringomyelia and the terrifying prospect of full quadriplegia, been diagnosed with breast cancer and broken several bones.

On the plus side, however, she's won medals in athletics for Wales, been humbled and inspired by Falklands veterans at RAF Chessington, raised thousands for charity, become a major disability poster girl in America, dabbled with the film world and been screen tested for a movie, met the Queen, and set up her own rehabilitation charity, whose patrons include the acclaimed actor Michael Sheen, Dame Tanni Grey Thompson and former Welsh Rugby captain, Gwyn Jones.

She has also, against all the odds, found lasting happiness, having fallen in love with and married the surgeon who 25 years earlier told her she would never walk again.


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Product details

  • Paperback: 352 pages
  • Publisher: HarperTrue (26 Nov 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0007317522
  • ISBN-13: 978-0007317523
  • Product Dimensions: 12.7 x 2.5 x 20.3 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (40 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 398,728 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

About the Author

At the age of fifteen Melanie Davies was involved in a motorcycle accident that left her paralysed from the chest down. Since then her life has never been the same, and in the years that followed she endured a huge amount of pain and suffering.

However, she has also, against all odds, won medals in athletics for her country, raised thousands of pounds for charity and set up her own rehabilitation charity.

Lynne Barrett-Lee was born in London and became a full time writer shortly after moving to Cardiff in 1994. She is the author of seven novels.

She is a regular guest broadcaster on BBC Radio Wales and also writes a popular weekly column for the Western Mail Newspaper's Saturday Magazine.


Customer Reviews

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4.8 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
24 of 24 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Inspiring Read 19 Dec 2009
Format:Paperback
There aren't many books that keep me reading half the night but this was one of them.
I get the feeling that whatever path Melanie Davies' life took it would have been interesting as she comes over as sociable, go-getting and loves a bit of glamour.
A motorbike accident in her teens confines her to a wheelchair but her determination to overcome the many health problems that followed would put anyone complaining about minor ailments to shame (myself included!). But this is no sob story, Melanie is a person who, like most of us wants to achieve something good in her life and maybe one day, fall in love.
She manages both, including achievements in sport and associations with the film world to being with the wrong and finally the right man. I felt her moments of frustration and lost confidence to happiness and self-belief, peppered with a good sprinkling of down-to-earth humour.
Towards the end of the book she marries the man who has been there since her accident all those years ago, and sets up her charity TREAT that will make a difference to others who might find themselves as she did - an ordinary person in an extraordinary and shocking situation. It left me feeling - how would I have done?
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Never say die 15 Jan 2010
Format:Paperback
A well written true life story of courage, it's heart breaking, funny, absolutely enthralling. Just couldn't put it down went to sleep at 04:30 completely exhausted. Deserves 6 stars.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars a very good factual story 2 April 2010
By Mrs. A. Wright VINE VOICE
Format:Paperback|Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
This is a well written story. It is written in the first person and is an explicit account of the trials faced by a bright lively teenager who becomes a paraplegic.The story takes one through the teen age years to the mature adult.It is frank and honest and describes well the difficulties faced by Mrs Davies in her attempts to take control of her life and achieve independence. There are many tragic events in her life but also many humorous ones. It made me laugh and cry sometimes at the same time. It also made me clench my fists at the many indignities forced on her because of her disability. One thing that is missing from the book however is whining.Although there are long descriptive passages they are so well written that the story is not slow moving. The aims and concept of the TREAT TRUSTare well documented but in no way canvasses support. MRS Davies states in the epilogue "If it (the book) goes anyway towards helping those struggling with life as a paraplegic, then it will have done a valuable job". I think it will certainly do that but I also thing it should be compulsory reading for students of medicine, nursing,physiotherapy and social work. The contents of the book demonstrate a real need for it
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
A Kid's Review
Format:Paperback
This book will leave you wanting to know more about this incredible woman. Melanie describes, how following a motorbike accident at the age of 15 which left her paralysed from the chest down, she has strived to enjoy every aspect of her life.

You will feel as though you are by her side as she tells of her first few months after the accident and of her first meeting with the consultant (later to become her husband) who carried out surgery on her on the day of her accident.

Melanie will have you laughing out loud as she talks of her time as an "athlete" and you will be moved by her heartwarming experiences on holiday in Gambia. There are a few tears along the way as Melanie's health gives her some scares but overall, this is a story of LOVE, love for her family, love for her friends, love for her husband and most of all, love of her life! Fantastic, I couldn't put it down.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Book About True Courage 18 Mar 2010
By H. Pierce TOP 1000 REVIEWER VINE VOICE
Format:Paperback|Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
This true story shows how one moment changed the course of Melanie Davies' life forever. One minute she was a 15 year old intent on having fun, and the next she was in hospital with irreversible damage to her spinal cord, and the prospects of never walking again.

This amazingly humbling read takes you through those dark days when she felt her future was almost non-existent, through to the point she is at now. She has risen above the confines of her disability and now looks set to make a difference to many other peoples lives too, with her charity TREAT.

It is worth noting that any monies she earns from this book are going to the charity she began, in order to help other people overcome their disabilities in an environment that seeks not to segregate them from the rest of the world, unlike so many other places.

One of the most noteworthy features of this biography is that the authors do not attempt to mask over the parts that many people may not have even considered. I had never realised how many difficulties must be confronted in order to gain independence again, beyond the obvious of getting used to using a wheelchair and having to increase your upper body strength. I had not considered the implications of, for example, going to the toilet when you cannot sense the need to go, etc. These issues are addressed, but she even manages to portray some of her humour into these difficult-to-write parts.

I think this book is very much worth reading on so many levels. It offers hope to the reader that no matter how difficult life may seem, there is always a way to get through it, as long as you are determined.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
A very moving story, well written and very uplifting.
Published 2 days ago by lisgower
5.0 out of 5 stars One of those hard to put down books
I got this on my Kindle to read while my husband and I toured Normandy on our motorbikes (odd book for the event I know and no I didn't read while riding!). Read more
Published 14 days ago by Carol
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
having only read half so far, a very moving story from an area i know well
Published 1 month ago by richard bennett
5.0 out of 5 stars Never say die
A very inspiring story of a girl whom never gave up. It was a true joy to read and I very much look forward to seeing what they create
Published 3 months ago by michelle gardner
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Thoroughly enjoyed
Published 3 months ago by lynda rogers
5.0 out of 5 stars inspiring
I couldn't put it down, what a wonderful woman! Her positive nature has not only helped her in her own life but has reached out to others and given them hope.
Published 4 months ago by alison bailey
5.0 out of 5 stars Must read
Excellent read ...could not put it down.Highly recommend it.Must tell friend about it as a summer read.Excellent value.Delivered quickly as stated.
Published 4 months ago by Cariad
5.0 out of 5 stars Insperational book
Wonderful book, telling an inspirational story. well written too. I cou8ldn't put it down and not just because I used to come from Port Talbot.
Published 9 months ago by Elizabeth Morgan
5.0 out of 5 stars great book
really enjoyed this book ,nice to read of such bravery and determination and about where I live knew the places
Published 9 months ago by lorraine
5.0 out of 5 stars An amazing book about a wonderful woman
This book is a fantastic read.
It is wonderfully descriptive, well written and Melanie's story is something everyone should read.
Published 13 months ago by Stephen baxter
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