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Brave David Ross shows triumph of human spirit against adversity

Editor's Viewpoint

Published 26/03/2016

A display of David's upper body strength
A display of David's upper body strength

At the end of a week of tragic news, we carry in today's newspaper the inspiring story of David Ross, who was badly injured playing rugby but has shown remarkable courage in rebuilding his life.

David was paralysed from the chest down while playing rugby for his school. Such a brutal injury would have broken the spirit of many a young person, and especially someone like David who is sports-mad. However, he refused to allow himself to be overwhelmed by self-pity, and he describes eloquently the tremendous challenges he has overcome.

His views on rugby are worth noting, in that he does not champion a review of the physical aspects and dangers at school and junior levels. Some people will disagree with him, but he has earned the right to be heard.

David Ross's inspiring words come at the end of a dark week in Northern Ireland and elsewhere. The tragic deaths of five members of the one family at Buncrana were terrible to contemplate, as were the heart-rending scenes at the funeral of Adrian Ismay, the murdered prison officer.

The pain etched on the faces of his family, including his daughter who suffers from Down's syndrome, were heart-rending, as were the scenes at the funerals of members of the families whose relatives died at Buncrana.

There were similar scenes at the funeral of Catherine Kenny, the homeless young woman who tragically died in a Belfast city centre street.

And who could not be affected by the awful pictures following the terrorist explosions in Brussels, and the stories still coming through of suffering and loss.

At such a time, the words of David Ross are a reminder of the triumph of the human spirit, when people are faced with great and adverse challenges.

There has also been inspiration at the outpouring of sympathy for the victims and families, and the utmost respect for the rescuers, including Davitt Walsh, who brought the tiny baby to safety at Buncrana.

As we celebrate Easter in our different ways, we should try to take comfort from the best of human nature, so personified by David Ross's uplifting, courageous and very human response to adversity.

Belfast Telegraph

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