Perseverance and Self-Belief: Emma Henderson Walks Again

Emma Henderson was an active working mum from Brisbane when a freak accident changed her world, leaving her in a hospital bed unable to move her legs.  Now, four years on Emma is rendering her family and Australian television audiences speechless with her miraculous recovery effort on This Time Next Year.


On a day like any other in 2013, Emma and her husband John were standing on a friend’s deck when their dog came to great them, knocking Emma off balance and causing her to fall through the unstable structure, landing three metres below on a concrete slab. 


Emma was in a critical condition, losing blood from a wound on her head and barely clinging life as she was revived in front of her horrified friends and family.

Unconscious for nine days and unable to move her legs, John and Emma’s 20-year-old son Freeman kept a bedside vigil as doctors prepared them for them for the worst.

But Emma was resolute. Waking from her coma determined to recover; arguing with anyone who bold enough to suggest she may never walk again.


With the unwavering support of Freeman and John, and dogged self-belief, Emma started along the hard road to recuperation. Towards the end of her hospital stay she began to make gains, wiggling her big toe to the disbelief of medical staff.

So, when the opportunity to take part in Channel Nine’s new reality television program This Time Next Year presented itself, Emma has no reservation about meeting her pledge to walk on stage in front of her family in just 12-months’ time.

After months of gruelling rehabilitation, Emma took her first few trembling steps onto the stage with the aid of crutches – a feat even her family hadn’t seen before filming. 

Bringing host Karl Stefanovic to tears and the audience to their feet, Emma shared her story and the harrowing journey still ahead, which will include regular neurotherapy, physical therapy and acupuncture.

While her on-stage stroll wasn't her best to date, the response from people across Australia has given her the faith to continue along the slow path to recovery.

Emma already has her sights set on her next goal, leaving her wheelchair behind completely and inspiring others to strive in their own recoveries.    

You can watch Emma’s story, along with other highlights from the high-rating reality television program This Time Next Year at 9Now. https://www.9now.com.au/this-time-next-year or tune in for more inspirational stories each Monday night after The Block,

Keep reading for more inspirational rehabilitation stories.