KUCHING, Sixteen years ago, Dr Mohd Sharizal Abdul Aziz’s life took an unexpected turn when a workplace accident left him paralysed on one side and at the tender age of 24, he grappled with the feelings of being stuck and lost in life.

However, with the unwavering support and heartfelt prayers from his beloved family, he discovered a newfound strength within himself that became a guiding force, propelling him to advocate for the rights of persons with disabilities (PWDs) and empower them to overcome challenges.

‘”This newfound strength inspired me to become a ‘voice’ for the PWD community, encouraging them to contribute meaningfully to society and the country,” said the Universiti Sains Malaysia (USM) Schools of Mechanical Engineering lecturer.

Since becoming disabled, the 40-year-old Penang native has actively engaged in initiatives that uplift and empower the community, particularly in the realms of swimming and education.

His unwavering commitment and inspiring journey led to the well-deserved recognition of receiving the PWD Special Award at the National PWD Day celebrations yesterday.

“After my paralysis, I spent a year confined to bed, followed by several years of learning to navigate life with a wheelchair. Engaging in rehabilitation and therapy courses became a pivotal part of my life and it was during this time that I discovered the therapeutic benefits of water activities, particularly swimming.

“Eventually, I chose to delve into disability swimming and proudly represented the state in various competitions. Today, I can walk with the assistance of a cane,” shared Mohd Sharizal, who also serves as the Penang PWD Swimming Association deputy president.

The father of three hopes that the award will serve as an inspiration for more individuals with disabilities.

Through his story, he aims to raise awareness within the community, emphasising that people with disabilities deserve equal opportunities to enjoy life, including access to employment and education.

Mohd Sharizal’s journey stands as a testament to resilience and the potential for a fulfilling life beyond physical challenges.

Source: BERNAMA News Agency