I recently “met” a very intriguing and inspiring young woman from South West London.  I use quotes, because we’ve only met online through a group we’re members of.  The minute I read her post she caught my attention as someone who had real experience with the feeling of “rising like air”.  When I found out that she is going to participate in a half marathon within a few days to support The National Deaf Children’s Society, I figured this was the perfect time to ask Megan to tell her story; about the girl who falls down and keeps getting back up; no matter what.


Photo from vimeo.com

The following material is ©Megan Rose Taylor 2013

My name is Megan Rose Taylor and I am 17, I have lived in South West London all my life. My aim is to show the world that there is always reason to get back up when you are knocked down, and that you donʼt need any super powers to overcome your challenges, just the courage to try.

This is my story.

On Remembrance Sunday 2011, I was at a war memorial with my Explorer Scout Unit and I fainted during the service. The impact of my fall caused my skull to fracture in three places and as a result I lost the hearing on the left side of my head.

The damage to my temporal bone and inner ear system caused me to become very dizzy and unbalanced, a problem which I still face today. 24:7 I am dizzy and sometimes the speed of my dizziness gets faster, for example when I am reading/writing/running or just tired. Because of this I end up walking into walls and fences and so passers by take one look and just see a drunk teenager. Then when I collapse unconscious they often just walk straight past. But sometimes, people are kind.

When I woke up in hospital I felt a sudden pain in my head, that pain never went away and although it is milder now I have been living with this headache for nearly two years, along with the dizziness. So far no one knows how to stop it despite having gone through many medical tests, I have visited a total of 8 hospitals since my original accident.

I never had any medical problems prior to the day of my skull fracture, but since that day I continued to pass out unexpectedly with no warning signs. Now I am fainting even more frequently, several times a day. I very rarely have a day where I donʼt faint and sometimes I canʼt count the number of times on my hands. After vigorous and ongoing testing doctors have said that my repetitive fainting is down to a cardiac problem.

My blood pressure drops and my heart rate slows down and then pauses. This was shown in my tilt test results when my heart stopped for 7 seconds. This causes me to faint and become unconscious, usually I wake up right away but recently I have been taking longer to come around. I am covered in bruises from where I keep hitting the floor and I always seem to brake my hearing aid when I fall!

I honestly believe that all of this will only become a problem if I allow it to be. And so when I faint I get back up, I smile, and I carry on. The point of sharing my story with you is not for sympathy, to be honest fracturing my skull was the best thing that ever happened to me. I have learnt so much over the past year: I am happier than I have ever been, I feel stronger, ready to face any problem that life throws at me, and most importantly I feel loved. I have so many great people around me to offer me support, I couldn’t do it without them.

Scouting is a huge part of my life and I have been a part of it from Beaver Scouts through to Cubs, Scouts, Explorers, and when I turn 18 I will become a Leader. It has really helped me to stay positive throughout my continuing ordeal, It has provided me with so many opportunities to challenge myself and overcome any difficulties I face, my fellow scouters have offered me support and friendship on an extraordinary level.

When I was in hospital I received messages from my Scouting friends all around the globe, I was lucky enough to attend the World Scout Jamboree in 2011 before my accident and so met Scouts from all over the world, I made friends with people we are supposed to be at war with. In my eyes that truly is amazing.

It made me realise that Scouting really is a world wide family, once you join Scouts you will never be alone no matter where you are in the world. Another thing that has really stuck with me is this, A Scout has courage in all difficulties. I try to remember that when Iʼm feeling scared and it gives me the boost I need to carry on.

I have faced many challenges since my accident. It was a struggle to make it through my GCSE exams, I fell asleep in most of them and even fainted in some. But by some kind of miracle I achieved 13 GCSEs all at grade B or above, I even got 3 A*s! I now study Animal Management at College and completed my first year with a Distinction, I even got to deliver a lamb!

I got back into shooting with my Scout group, 1st Tolworth Air Rifle & Pistol Club, and won a Silver medal at a district competition. I then went on to compete at the Scout Nationals. Shooting really is a challenge when you look down the scope and everything around you is spinning!

I am now a Young Leader with the Cub section and have tried many new activities including caving, pot holing, rafting, climbing, abseiling; at least if I faint whilst doing that I am attached to a rope! I recently started my Silver Duke of Edinburgh Award and hope to go on to do Gold and my Queens Scout award after.

This is why I really do believe that my medical condition isnʼt a problem unless I let it be. Because when I look back at what I have done over the past year I canʼt see any problem at all. So what if I pass out occasionally, there is always reason to get back up.

I try my hardest not to let my condition get in the way of my life, and although I donʼt view it as a reason to give up, many people around me do. I am currently working part time as a Receptionist but because I keep passing out on shift my hours have been considerably reduced. I stand up straight away and continue to serve the customers, but I can understand from a business point of view it does not look good. I have been searching and searching for a second job, but as soon as potential employers discover my ʻproblemʼ I am turned away.

But I donʼt give up that easily. So, I have decided to start my own business. By running my own business I eliminate the risk of being fired for reasons beyond my control, and open up opportunities to develop new skills that will help me in my future. To find out more about my business visit: https://www.facebook.com/CordWorxUK.

As well as creating my new business I have also taken on one more challenge. One that will most defiantly push me to my limits. I am going to run 21km (a half marathon) for The National Deaf Children’s Society (NDCS) on the 6th of October, less than a week to go, I am so excited!

This is going to be the biggest challenge of my life, so far. The further I run the dizzier I get and when I stop there is a very high chance that I will faint. Running gives me a real sense of achievement, it allows me to push myself in my own time to get just that little bit further. And for me, it is a way of keeping motivated and laughing in the face of my ʻproblemsʼ.

I am thankful everyday that I still have half of my hearing left. It is a gift that not everyone is privileged to have, four deaf children are born in the UK every day. 90% of deaf children are born to parents with little or no experience of how to communicate with a deaf person.

NDCS work with families to ensure that every deaf child has the support that they need. Deafness is not a weakness and should not be seen as one. Deaf children simply need the support of those around them the same way that I do, the same way that we all do, and NDCS is there to give that support to the children who need it all across the UK.

I want to help The National Deaf Childrenʼs Society give every deaf child a life without barriers, I can’t say that I can relate in any way to deaf children as I myself am not deaf, but I do know that even with half of my hearing gone it is not that simple to communicate. It is something that we take for granted.

I feel that you canʼt let small mishaps stop you from living your life. I learnt to adjust to my medical condition because I see no point in self pity, it wonʼt get me anywhere. So people stare, some even laugh, but at the end of the day I’m still smiling because life is what you make of it.

If you would like to sponsor me in The Royal Parks Half Marathon then visit http:// www.justgiving.com/megan-rose-taylor or text NDCS96 followed by your chosen donation to 70070. Thank you for your support! – If you happen to be attending this event yourself either as a runner or a supporter, I will be the girl running into all the trees!

I honestly donʼt think that there is a problem in my life I will not be able to overcome. It might take a little bit of time but I know I will get there eventually. When I faint I get back up and carry on. When people doubt my abilities, I rise above it and prove them wrong.

I am more determined than ever to make a change in this world, no matter how big or small that change may be. I want to show people that they should never give up and that your problems are only as big as you view them to be.

This is a poem that I wrote when I was 15, shortly after my accident.

Count Your Blessings

Today you can choose

to count your blessings

or dwell upon your troubles.

If you count

a smile appears.

Goodbye to sadness,

goodbye to tears.

But if you dwell

on the day you fell,

the mistakes you made

they will never fade.

Memories flood,

you’re sinking, mud.

Stuck, lost,

trapped in frost.

Slowly drifting

your captive ship.

Far from land

and far from grip.

Now you must count,

before itʼs too late.

Donʼt think about pain,

donʼt think about hate.

One. You are alive in a world full of beauty.

Two. You will always have care itʼs human duty.

If you are blind,

a dog can be your eyes,

nature will defend us

and help us in our lives.

If you are deaf,

and you struggle to talk,

you can sign with your hands

and still walk the walk.

But if you cant walk,

and you’re stuck in a chair,

be thankful it has wheels

to still get you there.

Nothing should stop you

you can do anything.

Blind people run,

and deaf people sing.

Good, keep counting,

three four five.

Be thankful for love

and be glad you’re alive.

Memories leave

you’re rising, air.

Freedom, security,

and now you are there.

The frost has melted,

the anchor is down.

No more dwelling

happiness is found.

Today you can choose

to count your blessings

or dwell upon your troubles.

I hope you enjoyed reading my poetry and that I have convinced you to get back out there and try! No matter what challenge you are facing or what goal you are aiming for, at the end of the day you have only two options, try, or donʼt. I know which one I would choose.

Have a great day! Megan Rose Taylor

Here’s a video Megan made about the cause she’s running for on Oct 6th. It’s also available on the page Megan listed above for the marathon, but I was impressed enough that I wanted to make sure everyone had a chance to see it.  Wishing you all the best Megan.  You’ve already won in my opinion. Thank you for sharing your story and showing us how to Rise Like Air.


Don’t forget to check out our Facebook page too.    If you like what you read please subscribe.