I’m Not Prepared to Accept That!

by Philip Whitmarsh

Philip Whitmarsh, a lively four-year-old, was playing in the garden with his brother and sister when he fell over – and found he couldn’t get up. Life would never be the same again for Philip. He had been struck down by the ‘summer plague’ – poliomyelitis. So began a nightmare of isolation wards and surgery, lying for months on end strapped to a metal frame – followed by the long climb back to recovery. Years of missed education saw him consigned to the dunces’ class, prey to the school bullies – but he fought back and, thanks to a life-changing comment from a sympathetic teacher, ended up with academic success and an award for outstanding achievement. His refusal to accept second-best saw him achieve success in a range of different careers before setting up his own business and becoming Mayor of his home town. Now he has achieved another long-standing ambition – to set it all down as an inspiration to others, and proof that it’s not the hand that life deals you that counts, but the way that you play it.