Only six days after he became a bilateral amputee in 2019, Simon Heaps began playing table tennis. He hasn’t stopped since.
The 67-year-old from Milford on Sea, England, hopes to go all the way to the International Wheelchair and Amputee Sports World Games in Thailand in December.
Lily Ford wrote about the table tennis player for the Evening Standard in an article published Jan. 30.
“There are lots of people who are a lot worse off than me, but if I can inspire others at my age to firstly keep healthy, and actually have an interest,” Heaps said. “I know for a fact, if it hadn’t been for table tennis, I’d be sitting on a couch watching TV all day every day.”
Because of complications from diabetes and arterial problems, Heaps had his right leg amputated in April 2019 and his left the following month. He returned to playing table tennis, a game he had given up decades earlier, shortly thereafter.
With the help of donors to a GoFundMe campaign, he has competed around Europe, in the Middle East, and in North and South America.
“What it’s done for me, for my self-esteem and for my mental well-being, has been unbelievable,” he said.