Life doesn’t end here … see this amazing person living her dream
[su_quote]“A story written about my physical disability, what I have gone through and achieved by being strong willed and accepting my challenges”[/su_quote]
BRISBANE MODEL, MAKEUP ARTIST, WRITER, PHOTOSHOP AND GRAPHIC ARTIST
WHY THE WHEELCHAIR?
I was not born with any physical challenges, these came later in life as a nine year old girl. At school I was an incredibly intelligent child, a straight A student who was always the first to raise a hand to answer questions or run to the head of the classroom to present my work. I was also athletic and loved dancing. Throughout school I suffered Asthma attacks almost daily, after athletic events I was put on the Ventolin machine frequently. On August 6th 1991 my life changed forever, at home in the evening I suffered such a severe Asthma attack and by the time I was rushed to hospital I was blue and declared dead on the table for several minutes. A Doctor did not give up with numerous injections to bring me back. When I came too, I was put on breathing machines in the I.C.U for 9 days. At the time there was no telling the severity of the damage caused. I spent weeks in the Children’s Ward with extensive physio, speech, and hand therapy. I had lost complete movement in my limbs, could not see or speak. I had a hard road ahead of me. I had a drip threaded through my nose and down my throat to feed me, due to losing all movement I could not swallow or chew on my own. It was later down the track that I was officially diagnosed with an Acquired Brain Injury & Parkinson’s Symptoms.
Over the years I underwent extreme Exercise/Physio and Speech therapies, I was doing close to five hours daily. It had me on my feet walking but it was that exhausting it was breaking me down mentally. I could not keep up the extensive work just to be able to walk without losing my mind. I slowly went backwards becoming close to completely being wheelchair bound. I was not giving up I just knew there had to be a limit to what I could endure.
I am now a thirty two year old young woman who lives independently. I can walk aided, I speak quite well. Well enough for people not to notice I had even lost full speech as a child. I use my wheelchair to get around mostly but when opportunity arises I am on my feet. Anyone who has a disability has an adjustment period for some they do not ever accept that their life has changed. For me it took close to nineteen – twenty years to embrace what had happened, what I could do & how I could possibly inspire others.
MY NAME HOTWHEELS
It was in 2007 that I moved to Brisbane, here I met an Artist who said to me one night. “You know what, you are not a Riki. You’re a Hotwheels” I asked him to explain further, I did not understand because I had close to no confidence, I had low self esteem & thought very little of myself. He said I was incredibly pretty, combining my nature, my beauty and my wheelchair I was dubbed Hotwheels. Since then I have used my name Riki Hotwheels to move forward and achieve my goals. As a child I was also known to be quite a poser, I loved to be in front of a camera so I set out to become a unique Model. I have been modelling professionally now since then. I used my networking skills on the internet to track down various photographers to build up my portfolio. Before my modelling took off I thrived on writing poetry, stories, anything I could put pen to paper on I would write so combining these two creative outlets I am now a well known model as well as a published writer. As soon as I started modelling I was introduced to Photoshop, to me this was a whole new World of where I could do anything. Since 2010 I have won upwards of over 5000 Awards for my Modelling & imaginative Photoshop work. I am a self taught Photoshop Artist, I cannot follow tutorials so I prefer on learning things for myself. I can also do makeup, I have always enjoyed dressing up and the makeup world. Given I did not have much money for photo shoots I began training myself in the makeup industry so I could do my own for the photographers I was working with. I now have multiple skills in these creative fields. (Model, Makeup Artist, Photoshopper, Graphic Designer, Writer) I have been fortunate enough to work with & meet some truly amazing people. I am so grateful to be doing what I love.
Having a physical challenge is a frustrating thing to live with but if you accept your limitations, do the best you can & are happy within yourself. You can achieve absolutely anything. I have days where my physical pain is so bad I cannot move. If you let these days affect you mentally it can put you in a negative mind state. I try to stay as positive as possible knowing the pain will pass & tomorrow is a new day. I like to say, “Deal with the cards you are dealt, the cards someone else can be a lot worse than yours. If you play your cards right, you will always be a winner!” Always believe in yourself, a positive mind can open your life to the most extraordinary things. 2015 for me I am hoping is going to be a sensational year for talents to shine.
[su_quote]If you want to know more or would like to work with me please do not hesitate to contact me. I can be found on Facebook. My page is Riki Hotwheels Model.[/su_quote]
Thank you for giving me the opportunity to share my story and thank you to PLV Photography for allowing the use of the photos snapped of me for this article.