Leeds & West Yorkshire

Granddad pens children's books to aid understanding of disability

Brian Abram with grandson Charles and illustrator Lynne Hickin Image copyright John Houlihan
Image caption Brian Abram's idea for the books came after writing a short story for his grandson Charles

A grandfather left paralysed by a bike accident has turned children's author after being inspired to help his young grandson understand his disability.

Brian Abram's books feature himself as Grandad Wheels and his six-year-old grandson Charles, as they embark on a series of adventures.

The idea came after Mr Abram penned a story to help Charles understand why he "couldn't walk like other granddads".

Profits from the book sales will go to two spinal-injury charities.

A keen cyclist, Mr Abram, 62, from Halifax, West Yorkshire, had been planning to cycle with his friend from Halifax to southern Spain.

However, in 2013 he was left paralysed from the waist down after coming off his bicycle during a training run.

Image copyright Brian Abram
Image caption The books feature the adventures of a granddad in a wheelchair and his grandson
Image copyright Lynne Hickin
Image caption Mr Abram said the whole family had helped come up with ideas for the stories

Mr Abram said his injuries were such, he was lucky to survive and after nearly a year in Pinderfields Hospital in Wakefield he returned home.

"At the time Charles was just six months old and all the time I was in hospital I worried about how he would react to me as he got a bit bigger," he said.

"What if he didn't want to play with me? How would I keep him amused?"

After writing stories to entertain Charles, his family encouraged him to make them available to a wider audience and he came up with the series - The Adventures of Grandad Wheels.

Image copyright Lynne Hickin
Image caption Profits from the book sales will go to charities Spinal Injuries Association and Back Up

With the help of illustrator Lynne Hickin, he has written five books and self-published his first one - Charlie's Big Idea.

"Once I got the idea, writing the books was a piece of cake," Mr Abram said.

"In each of the stories, I've tried to tell the reader a little bit about what it's like to use a wheelchair.

"But the books are not about having a disability, but the fun and life to be lived in spite of it."

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