Adam Hall. Adam is a young man from Dunedin who has overcome spina bifida to become New Zealand's only gold medalist at the 2010 Winter ParaOlympics.
In particular, I was going to focus on Gayle, Adam's mother. Gayle has supported Adam with huge enthusiasm over the years and is his number one fan. At the same time, Gayle did her midwifery degree and has practiced as a midwife in Dunedin for some years - I was privileged to be one of her midwifery lecturers at Otago Polytechnic. Gayle didn't find it easy to become a midwife, but the one thing I can say about Gayle was that she was bloody-minded and never gave up. She has obviously has passed this onto her son.
Just a mere nine hours later as I was driving home I heard the terrible news that Gayle had been killed in a car accident that morning. I am so happy that Gayle got to see Adam achieve his life's dream. At the same time I am reminded of the fragility and ephemeral nature of life.
The lesson Gayle passes on is to grasp life with both hands and give it all you have got - never be put down, and never let other people or adversity keep you from achieving your dreams. Gayle has left me with an indelible lesson about the preciousness of life and how you must live each day with all the energy you can muster.
My heart goes out to Gayle's family, in particular Adam, Lindsay and Mikaeyla. And as for the Dunedin midwifery community, we have lost a bright and shining star.