From bro­ken heart to cy­cling the world

The Free Press (Corowa) - - FRONT PAGE - BY SARAH DEAN

Au­thor and mo­ti­va­tional speaker 44-year-old Jeremy Scott thought, as a four-year-old, he was go­ing on a hol­i­day when his par­ents helped him pack his bag and they all piled into the car.

The next thing he knew he was wak­ing up in hos­pi­tal with a sore chest.

Jeremy had life-saving open-heart surgery af­ter suf­fer­ing from a hole be­tween the two chambers in his heart.

“Be­fore the surgery it was just an­other day, my par­ents couldn’t bring them­selves to try and ex­plain what was go­ing to hap­pen to me, so they told me I was go­ing on a hol­i­day,” he said.

“I had my bags packed and I was in the car and it was all very ex­cit­ing but lit­tle did I know that I was be­ing driven to the hos­pi­tal.

“When I woke up the first thing I said was: ‘this is no hol­i­day’.”

Mr Scott told the Free Press that the ex­pe­ri­ence of sur­viv­ing open-heart surgery all those years ago has made him a stronger per­son who is grate­ful for each and ev­ery day and would later in­spire him to travel the world, write a book and be­come a mo­ti­va­tional speaker.

The Ro­tary Club of Corowa or­gan­ised for the Na­tional Heart Foun­da­tion Am­bas­sador to visit Corowa’s RSL Club on Septem­ber 28 to share his in­spir­ing story with the ro­tary mem­bers and the com­mu­nity.

The Ro­tary Club of Corowa’s John Law said Jeremy’s jour­ney was ‘ex­tremely in­spir­ing’ and had ev­ery­one hang­ing on ev­ery­thing he said.

Mr Scott, who lives in Mel­bourne, spoke about his book – ‘The Long Road from a Bro­ken Heart’.

The book tells his life story, from un­der­go­ing life-saving, open-heart surgery at just four years of age to cy­cling around the planet.

The jour­ney, which started on October 5 in 2011, was many years in the plan­ning and in­volved a 2 ½ year, 51,916 kilo­me­tre un­sup­ported bi­cy­cle ride from Lon­don to New Zealand.

At the con­clu­sion of his phe­nom­e­nal jour­ney, Mr Scott wrote his highly suc­cess­ful book and now ded­i­cates his life to in­spir­ing oth­ers.

Mr Scott said the jour­ney was an eye-opener.

“Time passed so quickly and the months just dis­ap­peared and it was by far the best two and a half years of my life and noth­ing else has come close,” he said.

“I was rais­ing money for the Australian, New Zealand and Bri­tish heart foun­da­tions but I al­most felt em­bar­rassed telling peo­ple what I was do­ing.

“I didn’t want to come across ego­tis­ti­cal but then I thought that if I raised $1000 it was go­ing to be a $1000 more than I had be­fore­hand so I sort of had that at­ti­tude then which was good.

“I then met a man in Viet­nam and, as it turned out, his brother had been op­er­ated on by the same sur­geon who saved my life and when I heard that I just couldn’t be­lieve the co­in­ci­dence and I was so ex­cited and I said to the guy that I needed to meet his brother be­cause this en­counter just couldn’t have been a co­in­ci­dence.

“He said I couldn’t meet his brother be­cause he died dur­ing the op­er­a­tion and it turned out that his brother’s op­er­a­tion was just a few years be­fore mine.

“We quickly re­alised that my sur­geon would have learnt a lot of valu­able lessons from the failed op­er­a­tion, which he car­ried for­ward to save my life two years later.

“That was the mo­ment that ev­ery­thing changed.

“That’s when I re­alised that it’s not about me, it’s about peo­ple like this guy who had lost fam­ily mem­bers and oth­ers out there about to un­dergo surgery.

“I was look­ing him in the eye and I knew for a fact that his brother’s death had gone a long way to saving my life.

“That re­ally changed ev­ery­thing from that point for­ward.”

Mr Scott re­called a ‘mon­u­men­tal void’ af­ter fin­ish­ing the mam­moth cy­cling jour­ney.

“It was like, you know, what do I do now?” he said.

“What’s go­ing to pos­si­bly chal­lenge me back in the real world?

“I needed to find an­other big chal­lenge and I did, I found that in the shape of my book and learn­ing to speak in pub­lic and be­com­ing a mo­ti­va­tional speaker, which at first ter­ri­fied me more than any­thing else.

“I guess the jour­ney taught me that there’s only one way to get over your fears and that’s just to give it ago.

“So I thought that if I ap­plied the same logic I did to my bike ride to speak­ing in pub­lic, then I will be able to cope with it.”

The book has been out since De­cem­ber, 2014.

Mr Scott said he now en­joys speak­ing in pub­lic and said you just never know who you might in­spire to do great things.

“You just never know who is in the au­di­ence and will con­nect with it in their own spe­cial way,” he said.

“An ex­am­ple of this is that a cou­ple of years ago I was flown to the UK to speak to the clients of a small pri­vate bank in Lon­don and just two days ago I re­ceived an email from one of the peo­ple in at­ten­dance and they said they wanted to let me know that af­ter see­ing the pre­sen­ta­tion they had signed up to ride across the United King­dom.

“He didn’t men­tion a thing to me at the time of the pre­sen­ta­tion, but some­thing just res­onated with him and he de­cided to go and chase his dreams.

“That’s ex­actly why I am do­ing this and I need to keep spread­ing the word for things like this to hap­pen.”

Mo­ti­va­tional speak­ing has now be­come a full-time gig for Mr Scott and it is tak­ing him all over the world.

As a pas­sion­ate sup­porter of nu­mer­ous char­i­ties, Mr Scott was awarded the 2015 Australian Heart Foun­da­tion (Queens­land) ‘Heart Hero’ Award for his work rais­ing funds, aware­ness and in­spir­ing oth­ers with heart dis­ease.

Mr Scott is in the mid­dle of or­gan­is­ing his next ride, which will be from the top of Alaska to the tip of Ar­gentina.

Jeremy Scott with his book – ‘The Long Road From A Bro­ken Heart’.

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