image of Matt Naysmith in his motorised wheelchair All it takes is one accident to change your life forever...

At 21, Matt Naysmith was working in the North-West as a diesel mechanic. Having saved good money, he’d booked an around-the-world ticket to realise his dream to work and live abroad.

On a day off work, he planned to celebrate by having a party with 15 friends at the idyllic Karijini National Park. It turned into a day when a series of wrong decisions would change his life and those closest to him forever.

Mr Naysmith had been drinking alcohol that he said switched him into “hero-mode”. His judgment affected, he decided to climb up a waterfall among the beautiful gorges.

There was no peer pressure. “I was going to jump and nothing was going to stop me,” he said.

Mr Naysmith slipped on the wet rocks and fell head first into the gorge, breaking his neck.

It took 3½ hours for the SES and his friends to get him out of the gorge and to Tom Price Hospital before he was flown by the Royal Flying Doctor Service to Royal Perth Hospital.

Even when told his neck was broken, his spinal cord severed and that he would never walk again, it didn't sink in. He said he brushed such consequences aside and thought he would simply recover.

“I had no idea what an injury like this was. I wasn’t aware of the consequences of my actions half of the time,” he said.

But he said his fun-loving nature was lost after the accident.

“That fun-loving person died when I broke my neck — I wrecked it all in a second. I’ve been everything except happy since that day. I’ve lost the ability to become who I wanted to be.”