After Dinner & Event Speaker (in association with SpeakOut)
In 2014 Rory Mackenzie, a former British Army combat medic who lost a leg in Iraq, took part in the very first Para-trike flight across the length of Kenya with a group of wounded service personnel. The event was organised by Flying for Heroes a not for profit enterprise in partnership with Help for Heroes, who provide pilot training scholarships for wounded services personnel and veterans.
Rory Mackenzie was first introduced to the British public when in 2012 Rory and a team of former servicemen (two able-bodied and four injured), successfully crossed the Atlantic in a rowing boat. The Row2Recovery project took them on a journey of about 3000 miles from La Go Mera in the Canaries to Barbados, with a fundraising target of £1million to support a number of military charities.
Later that year Rory took a starring role in the closing ceremony of the London 2012 Paralympics when he was raised 40ft above the Olympic Stadium to introduce the "Festival of the Flame".
Rory Mackenzie realised he had lost his leg whilst being handed over to the Immediate Reaction Team on the Chinook helicopter. He was in a very serious condition and they feared for his life. Requiring a sixteen hour long operation to stabilise his wounds the remnants of his limb were reshaped and cleaned up to the best of the team's ability and the next day he was flown to Selly Oak Hospital in Birmingham. Whilst there, Rory had seven further operations, contracted MRSA, and grew weaker day by day. With the help of his family, Rory eventually broke the cycle of decline and started to show signs of recovery. He got better, stronger, and was ready to move on to Headley Court.
After a further seven months at Headley Court and many, many hours in the prosthetics department, Rory made a complete physical recovery. He was walking again; not gracefully but walking nevertheless. By now what had happened had sunk in and he believed he was no longer the person he was before the bomb detonated. However, Rory was healthy and strong but angry at the fact that his sports and extreme lifestyle was ruined! He had created in his mind a long list of all the things he would never do again.
It was at this time that he received an invitation via Help for Heroes to go adaptive skiing in Bavaria, Germany, under a new military programme called Battle Back. He didn't waste a second and jumped at the opportunity despite having no idea what to expect or what he was actually getting himself into.
As a South African he hadn't put skiing at the top of a 'to do' list, so he was rather apprehensive about the whole thing. Within five minutes of the initial brief he was at ease, he knew this was going to be healing. They were all kitted out with the correct length skis or in some cases like Rory, ski! Then it was straight to the slopes where he took to the sport with ease. It gave him freedom - the speed, thrill and excitement of the sport, he believes, literally healed his frame of mind overnight.
He no longer had a list of all the things he couldn't do - he now had a long list of all the things he could potentially do! He came off those slopes a different person, with a completely different frame of mind towards his own life and future. He now believes he can succeed in what ever he puts my mind to. Anything is possible!
Rory is currently working as a motivational speaker travelling to conferences and events all over the world.
To book Rory Mackenzie, contact Emkay Entertainments Agency via email@example.com. Alternatively, speak to a booking agent directly on 01506 855 555.
"Rory is a truly inspirational speaker. His humility combined with passion and easy humour makes a huge impact. He has spoken to the Diageo Board and at various international events and wherever he speaks he makes a huge impact. I strongly recommend Rory."
David Gates, DIAGEO Global Category Director, Whiskies
"Rory Mackenzie gave a truly inspirational speech during the London 2012 Paralympic Games closing Ceremony at the Olympic Stadium in front of a worldwide audience of millions. Praise for his presentation was plentiful when he "delivered that rousing, scene-setting prologue to the Festival of the Flame"
London Evening Standard
"He instantly commanded the room with his honesty, modesty and emotive story. The way in which he was able to engage and gauge the audience was compelling, endearing and highly addictive. Rory speaks in a way in which he makes you see and feel the memories and events through his eyes, he injects wit, humour and comedy to what is otherwise a tragic tale of loss and overcoming. He speaks of strength that is greater than physical strength and his mental determination and refusal to give up is inspiring and admirable. It is no mean feat to bring grown men to tears in a room full of colleagues and peers, yet that is exactly what he did. Rory's message is simple, believe, achieve and succeed. "Can't" is simply one letter too long."
Audience member. Covidien National Sales Meeting 2013.