JK Rowling has defended a paralysed ex-rugby star after he was told he “should have died for being stupid”.
Henry Fraser, 23, from Chipperfield in Hertfordshire, was paralysed from the shoulders down when he banged his head while on holiday five years ago.
The former Saracens player took to social media yesterday to share an email he had been sent, which told him he “deserved to not be able to use his arms and legs”.
The message from Laura White reads: “Just came across your story online. I can’t believe how stupid you are – you deserve to not be able to use your arms and legs.
“In fact you should have died for being stupid enough to throw your life away like that.”
His post was spotted by Rowling, who dubbed Laura an “imbecile” for sending the bullying email.
The Harry Potter author wrote: [email protected] Fate shoved you through an unexpected door and you lit the way for others. I wonder how Laura would fare on the other side?”
After Henry thanked her for her kind words, she added: “Fate could come for any of us, at any time. The imbeciles who don’t know that, cave fastest when it happens. Big love.”
Her thoughts were echoed by fans who also leapt to Henry’s defence.
Charlotte Atkins wrote: “Wow. What heartless people we have in this world.”
Billy Greene added: “Laura is merely highlighting her own inadequacy, not yours. More power to you Henry.”
Henry even managed to thank Laura for inspiring him to reach higher.
He wrote: “All I achieve from now will be because of the motivation you have given me. Thank you Laura.”
He even added an emoticon blowing a kiss to his message.
Despite setbacks, Henry has continuously defied expectations and is now even able to create works of art using just his mouth.
His pieces have been shared by the likes of Usain Bolt, Gordon Ramsay and Sir Chris Hoy, who have said his work is “brilliant”.
Henry was just 17 when he had an accident whilst on holiday in Portugal with friends.
Five days into the trip, he ran into the sea and dived, not realising how shallow the water was.
He banged his head on the seabed, and found himself face-down in the water, unable to move his arms or legs.
Luckily, a friend noticed he was in trouble and helped him back onto the beach, and he was rushed to hospital where X-rays showed he had badly dislocated his neck.
After weeks of excruciating pain, and a period when he contracted pneumonia, he had a successful operation where surgeons were able to screw his vertebrae back into alignment.
Now, after years of rehabilitation, he is able to move his arms slightly and has been increasing his strength using a range of exercises.
He is wheelchair-bound but travels around the country giving inspirational speeches and talks about his situation and experiences.
He has even had the chance to meet David Beckham and his “hero” Thierry Henry.