Episode Thirty Four - Jill Wheatley

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Episode 34 - Losing Sight yet Gaining Vision

On this episode, Ryan is joined by Jill Wheatley, a teacher turned life-long activist and adventurer. Jill suffered from a traumatic brain injury (TBI) on her job, losing 70% of her sight and in the process changing her entire view on life.

Jill speaks about the experience itself, what went through her mind in the moment, and breaks down her thought process in both the immediate aftermath and the long-term effects. She has taken it upon herself to use her life-changing experience to shine a light on an otherwise stigmatised issue that lacks public awareness.

In this Episode:

  • Jill speaks of the events of the day that changed her life forever, and her journey of realising what had actually happened to her.
  • Jill discusses how she would have felt if the accident had happened to anyone else who was there that day and her acceptance of a difficult situation.
  • Coping with the loss of autonomy and being a highly independent person living through a situation where you do not have the level of control you are used to having.
  • Living with the uncertainty of a medical prognosis that keeps changing and an issue that is not all that well understood even amongst experts.
  • How Jill sees the mental mountains she has to climb to be more challenging than the mountains she climbs in real life.
  • Learning how to accept help and support from friends & family, and how that was particularly challenging in the early stages of her journey.
  • Coming to understand the value of sharing your story, and hearing that of others, beyond niceties and surface-level conversation.
  • Evolving from a fixed-mindset to a growth mindset.
  • Highlights of Jill’s mountaineering career, her most significant climbs and runs.
  • The role of travelling in helping Jill accepting the direction her life had taken.
  • Acceptance through being grateful for the lessons learned through adversity.

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