Before you watch Johnny’s interview with Toby Mildon, here’s what you should know about Toby…
Despite living with Spinal Muscular Atrophy (SMA), Toby Mildon was as active and busy as anyone else in March 2010. A Project Manager for the BBC living in London, an Assistant Producer for Champions Club Community, a Personal Performance Coach, and also chairing a national disability charity (JTSMA), Toby’s schedule was as ambitious as his drive for achievement. But all of that came to a halt with the onset of a chest infection which turned into the fight of his life.
Living with SMA, a chest infection in the wintertime wasn’t unusual for Toby. Dependant on a wheelchair and around-the-clock care, his body often had more difficulty in colder months. But this infection proved to be much more dangerous as it progressed. The antibiotics caused vomiting and dehydration, he had trouble breathing, soon he was having a seizure. Suffocating, Tony’s body went into a coma and he was put on life support. For two months, he lay in Intensive Care, his organs failing, and was being fed nutrients with a nasal gastric (NG) tube and his breathing assisted by a tracheotomy. All in all, thirty or more bags, tubes, and bottles were hooked up to his body.
Miraculously, Toby’s health eventually stabilized and he awoke from his coma. A year and a half later, he looks back on that experience as a turning point in the way he chooses to live his life.
“Certainly for me it made me really appreciate life,” he says. “Before Hospital I was working really hard at my job . . . I was doing a lot. But when I had kind of woken up from the coma and I was reflecting on life, I was thinking that there’s more to this – life is quite precious and I really need to get my priorities sorted out. It just makes you aware of how short life can be and how vulnerable we are in this world when you take a knock like that. . . . I’m still very committed to my work, but, I value my health a lot more. And I value my relationships in my life with family and friends, so certainly my priorities and perspective in life have changed a lot.”
With a more proper balance of life and work, today Toby continues his career in Media while advocating for those with disabilities. And having just completed a book for entrepreneurs (which can be downloaded free from his website), he uses his story to help coach others in the proper ways to balance busy lives. It’s just one more way to use his experience to help make the lives of others much more fulfilling and satisfying.
“When people tell their personal stories it’s really powerful,” he says. “When you can tell your personal story that’s what makes you an individual. And everyone’s got a story.”
Below is the video of Johnny interviewing Toby.
Download audio MP3 file (Right-click and choose “Save Target As…” or “Save File As…”)