A Broken Neck Couldn’t Stop Adventurer Jezza Williams, the Tetraplegic Paraglider

Limitless is the story of Jezza Williams, and it’s a wild one. From life as a rogue adventurer to the game-changing accident that left him a tetraplegic; and most importantly, how he tackled it head-on. It’s the kind of story that makes you feel bad for wasting the potential of that physically-abled body of yours.

From a young age, Jezza Williams was taking advantage of the mountains and rivers of his native homeland, New Zealand. Turning his passions into a career, Jezza worked as a guide and instructor taking tour groups kayaking, climbing and skiing throughout NZ, Australia, Central America, Africa and the Swiss Alps.

“I even went down the Darién in Panama in a dugout canoe and lived with Emberá Indians for a while,” said Jezza in an intimate interview with Adventure website We are Explorers.

“Your life changes a lot as you grow as an adventurer and an explorer, and I just got lost. Lost in the world.”

limitless we are explorers

Fast track to Switzerland, 2010, where Jezza suffered the injury that would change his life. What started as a routine cliff jump went horribly wrong. The seasoned adventurer slipped and hit a rock on the way down.

“It was really obvious that my head was not attached to my body.”

“I fucked up. I had changed my life.”

An injury of this magnitude could have easily ended Jezza’s story, but he survived. As you would expect, it was a long road to recovery.

“I was breathing out of a tube; eating out of a tube, peeing out of a tube…I was probably just shitting wherever. They told my family I might not be able to breathe by myself. I could probably never use my arms.”

jezza williams broken back

Jezza persisted, and with the aid of his friends, family and support system, he adapted to his new conditions and found a way to carry on doing what he loved.

In Jezza’s own words: “I’m a stubborn motherfucker. I pushed it and pushed it and pushed it.”

“I wanted to get back into rafting, I wanted to go skydiving, but one of the biggest things for all these sports is that I have to rely on somebody else. So when I went tandem paragliding with a buddy of mine, I looked at how everything worked, and I was like, ‘I can do this.”

“I’ve got a license, and I can fly by myself. Having that freedom, for somebody with my abilities just blows my world.”

Since 2010, Jezza Williams has been operating his own business Making Trax which is all about inclusive tourism. It’s a global movement to ensure the social participation of persons with disabilities, in travel, adventure, and cultural contribution. He works closely with operators around the world to enable them to offer their experiences to everyone.

limitless we are explorers documentary

“We work closely with individuals too. A young lady called Abigail from America who had tetraplegic cerebral palsy. We had her skydiving, canyon swinging, paragliding all sorts of amazing activities.”

“I have a disability, but I’m not disabled. You’ve seen the stuff that I do. I do more stuff than a lot of people that are fully able-bodied.”

That’s just a snippet of Jezza’s story which is being told in the documentary Limitless. You can view the short film at the top of the article. To read the full interview, head over to We are Explorers linked below.

Check it out

limitless we are explorers