Peter Coghlan was told he would never move any part of his body again, except for his eyelids.
A massive brain-stem stroke in 2011 rendered him paralysed and a prisoner in his own body.
Amazingly, the 35-year-old is now walking, speaking and working full-time.
Mr Coghlan, who has been nominated for a Pride of Australia medal in the Courage category, said he simply refused to accept he would never get better.
“Walking out of there was something I intended to do from the beginning,” he said. “I just wouldn’t give up.”
The Pride of Australia awards are an initiative of News Corp Australia, publisher of The Sunday Times, to recognise unsung heroes. Nominations close on Tuesday.
A former British Army soldier, Mr Coghlan had earlier battled Hodgkin’s lymphoma, but beat the cancer after a year of intensive chemo and radiotherapy treatment.
He moved to Perth with his wife, Jade Coghlan D’Souza, in 2005.
Where to find Peter Coghlan online
VideosNo easy way out
Pete's progress back to life after locked-in syndrome
In the Blink of an Eye - Reborn
by Peter Coghlan
As a soldier, Peter Coghlan faced physical challenges, bullying, murderous mobs and the lymphatic cancer which ended his career. But nothing could prepare him for his most gruelling battle of all.
A massive brain stem stroke, followed by coma, left Peter almost totally paralysed, imprisoned in his own body. This life-affirming true experience charts his progress as he fights to recover.
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