I was born with Multiple Epiphyseal Dysplasia, a bone condition which affects the growing ends of my bones, and Fallot's Tetralogy, a congenital heart defect which was repaired via open heart surgery as a baby.
In many ways, my disability and my sporting career are very strongly interlinked. Doctors predicted that I'd be in a wheelchair by my teenage years but I never really saw myself as 'disabled' and have always strived to be as fit and healthy as possible. One thing is for sure...without my disability I wouldn't be where I am today. It has been a blessing in disguise.
I get a massive buzz from pushing my body to its limits and the sense of achievement that comes with that is what keeps me going. But table tennis has given me the sense of purpose. I have been given such a great opportunity to achieve something massive in life – without this, those tough times would be a lot harder for sure.
I first started playing at the age of 10 after the numerous operations I had as a child. It is a sport that can be played without too many limitations and is something which I can compete at alongside able-bodied athletes - the perfect outlet for my competitive spirit. It has kept me driven to stay fit and healthy and has certainly helped me overcome some of my physical problems. I really don't know what my condition would be like if it wasn't for table tennis. I've loved it ever since I first picked up a bat.