Dan’s Story
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Dan in hospital in Columbia, 3 days after his accident

Dan’s story – what seemed like a tragedy led to a dream coming true

Dan worked as an outreach charity worker in Latin America for two years before a diving accident in the Colombian Amazon in 2010 left him with a broken neck and permanently paralysed from the shoulders down.


So serious was Dan’s injury that his condition quickly deteriorated and in the weeks after his accident he was resuscitated from four cardiac arrests before starting the long road to recovery.


Dan spent the next year in hospital, fighting for his life and facing up to the enormous emotional and physical challenges of being so severely paralysed. During these difficult times he had the opportunity to meet other people with similar disabilities who had overcome extreme adversity to go on and achieve great things in life.


This inspired him to pursue his aspiration of starting a skills training charity for youngsters living in poverty and precarious circumstances. The Dan Eley Foundation is the realisation of that venture.


Dan has extensive experience as a motivational speaker. Drawing on personal experience he explains how we can turn adversity into opportunity and his very own formula for success.

Dan Eley speaking at an event


Since 2012, when Dan started his charity, he has been giving talks about the life changing impact of his injury and how to overcome such adversity, turning it into success and a more profound sense of fulfilment in life.

He has given talks to people of all ages in vast range of settings including motivational talks to corporations, to talking about life with disability to children in local schools.


“Dan delivers a very powerful and incisive talk which is equally moving and joyful. Indeed his is a personal story to remind us that the human spirit is indomitable. From his unique perspective Dan explains brilliantly how we can all do so much more than just cope with adversity.”