Life for this successful businessman, champion athlete, passionate car enthusiast and watch collector changed on 16 November 2006 as a result of a freak boating accident. A severe spinal cord injury left Hammer paralysed from the chest down, along with multiple fractures of skull, hip, and ribs and numerous other injuries. More than six months in a hospital spinal unit, ongoing surgeries, infections and complications battered Hammer’s confidence and self-esteem.
A chance outing to watch a wheelchair tennis competition organised by Sporting Wheelies and Disabled Association opened the door to the new world of sport and recreation for people with a disability, and Hammer was hooked. Since then, he has discovered sports such as handcycling and become a regular member of the Association’s accessible gym and rehabilitation facility (right), working with staff to maximise his strength and inspire other gym members.
Today, he is a popular public speaker and educator, helping to raise awareness about spinal cord injuries and the importance of regular healthy activity to the physical and mental wellbeing of people with a disability. He is also passionate about technological advances that are helping to improve the lives of people with life-changing injuries, travelling to the United States to be a ‘test pilot’ for the University of California, Berkley’s powered exoskeleton project.