Writing Through Adversity with Henry Fraser, Ella Dove, Christie Watson and Freya Lewis


Writing Through Adversity is a panel that cannot fail to inspire you. We have three people, Henry Fraser, Freya Lewis and Ella Dove, who have all had to face major life-altering challenges, but have found a way to not only overcome, but become inspirational role models for us all. All three have found creative and writing pursuits have helped them. Also joining them is Christie Watson who has been a nurse throughout her career and has written about her experiences on the front line.

Henry Fraser

Henry is an inspirational and talented mouth artist who only discovered his love for art after a life-altering accident paralysed him from the shoulders down while on holiday with his friends when celebrating the end of their exams in 2009.

Initially having had to learn to breathe again Henry is now not only an artist and a motivational speaker but has written a book helping others to ‘accept your past, live in the present and shape a positive future’. The Power In You by Henry Fraser is out now.

Henry has a huge following on Instagram and you can find out more about him on his website, henryfraserart.com

Freya Lewis

When teenager Freya  went to watch an Ariana Grande concert at the Manchester Arena in May 2017 she had no way of knowing that not only would she lose her best friend, but that she would come close to losing her life. She was standing only ten metres away from the terrorist who would take so many lives and alter many others that night. Despite almost thirty injuries and everything she has endured since that night, Freya has come through her devastation and trauma.

Freya has set up a fund raising a huge amount of money for the Royal Manchester Children’s Hospital, won an NHS Hero Award and been made an ambassador for the High Sheriff of Manchester.

Freya has also written a book about her experiences, What Makes Us Stronger.

Ella Dove

Ella is the Commissioning Editor at Good Housekeeping, Prima and Red at Hearst Magazines.

Five years ago in 2015, when Ella was 25-years-old she went out jogging and had a fall which resulted in her life being changed forever. Determined not to let becoming a below-knee amputee get the better of her, Ella determined to fight back from what had happened and help others.

She has now written a book spreading her ‘message of hope and inner strength’ to others. Since her accident Ella has completed a triathlon and become an ambassador for the Limbless Association and Barts Health’s Trauma campaign among other achievements. Five Steps to Happy by Ella Dove has been published in various countries.

Find out more about Ella on her website.

Christie Watson

Christie was a registered paediatric nurse for twenty years, spending most of that time in paediatric intensive care in large NHS hospitals. She then went on to become a resuscitation officer involving clinical work on hospital-wide crash teams as well as teaching.

She is Professor of Medical and Health Humanities  and has been awarded anhonorary Doctor of Letters, honoris causa for her contribution to nursing and the arts by the University of East Anglia. She is patron of the Royal College of Nursing Foundation.

Christie wrote ‘The Language of Kindness, A Nurse’s Story’ her account of a profession defined by acts of care, compassion and kindness. Her most recent book is, ‘The Courage to Care, A Call for Compassion.’

Find out more about Christie on her website

You can watch Ella, Freya, Christie and Henry talk about their stories and books in the Writing Through Adversity panel date TBC in the MyVLF Theatre.

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