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Award-winning journalist Melanie Reid

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Shereen Nanjiani Shereen Nanjiani | 10:15 UK time, Monday, 5 September 2011

This week's special guest is truly inspirational. If like me you've been reading Melanie Reid's columns in The Times you'll know that her life changed forever eighteen months ago when a horrendous riding accident left her paralysed from the neck down. Her columns describe in painful detail the struggles and battles she's been going through every day since then. They're moving and often disarmingly funny.

I'd met Melanie once a few years before her accident. She was one of those high achieving career women who was always on the go, constantly busy, the type of person others go to when they've got a problem. She was also surprisingly shy. The shyness has gone now. "I've got nothing to lose now" she says.

Our meeting was an emotional one as she admitted she still hasn't come to terms with what has happened to her and is mourning the person she's lost. She's not ready to accept that she may spend the rest of her life in a wheelchair and is determined to keep battling with the rehab and physio even though the most basic tasks leave her exhausted.
After the interview we went for a coffee. Like a true journalist Melanie was keen to hear all the gossip and was even suggesting other people I should interview for the show.

She clearly relished being back in her old environment, just another hack, chewing the fat. Even though the afternoon must have been exhausting for her she didn't let anyone else push her wheelchair for her. As she said of herself in her first column after the accident, "still fiercely alive".

Listen to Shereen, Sunday 0900 on BBC Radio Scotland and available to listen again on iPlayer.


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