Generation Grit

Generation Grit: Paralysed at 21, his will to live was unwavering

Wong Zi Heng, 26, suffered a spinal cord injury during his university orientation camp and was paralysed from chest down. A year after the accident, he went back to school. He is now pursuing a postgraduate diploma in education.
Mr Wong Zi Heng, 26, teaching a class at Bedok South Secondary School during a four-month teaching stint last year. He is currently pursuing a postgraduate diploma in education at the National Institute of Education.
Mr Wong Zi Heng, 26, teaching a class at Bedok South Secondary School during a four-month teaching stint last year. He is currently pursuing a postgraduate diploma in education at the National Institute of Education.ST PHOTO: LAU FOOK KONG

A fun camp at the start of the university year in 2013 turned Wong Zi Heng's life upside down. But rather than give in to despair, he forged a new path for himself, he tells senior social affairs correspondent Theresa Tan, in this series about inspiring millennials.

"I dived into the sea and suddenly, I was unable to move. Although I had not hit anything, I had the odd sensation of not feeling my body.

This was at Palawan Beach on Sentosa. I had just finished my first year at the National University of Singapore (NUS) and was helping out at the science faculty orientation camp before the start of the following academic year.

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on February 28, 2018, with the headline 'Paralysed at 21, his will to live was unwavering'. Print Edition | Subscribe