Nerves of Steel

Not Helpful
November 29, 2020
Adventure Lives Here!
January 3, 2022
Not Helpful
November 29, 2020
Adventure Lives Here!
January 3, 2022

Nerves of Steel

From full of life to life support.
A young boy’s courageous fight to survive Transverse Myelitis.

by Craig Thorne

Craig Thorne’s son Samuel was a healthy, active nine-year-old when a rare disease left him suddenly paralysed — unable to move or breathe.

It’s happened. It sucks that it’s happened but it has. There’s nothing we can do about it. We just need to move on, move forward.
– Samuel Thorne (aged nine) Day 48 16 January 2016.

Nerves of Steel is the story of a young boy’s immense courage, as well as the life-altering impact his illness had on those closest to him.

In his emotional retelling of a ‘parent’s worst nightmare’, Craig explores the lessons he learnt from Samuel’s 480-day hospital stay — and his eventual homecoming — in the hope that it might help anyone faced with a similar crisis.

Packed with practical advice and personal insights about daily life in a paediatric intensive care unit, Nerves of Steel is an invaluable guide for the parents and supporters of seriously ill children — as well as the health professionals who work with them.

Available in paperback (ISBN: 9781922603012) through the following online resellers:


Angus & Robertson

Fishpond Booktopia

Also available in eBook (ISBN: 9781922603043 through the following booksellers:


Angus & Robertson Barnes & Noble Booktopia


Available in eBook as a PDF through the online bookseller Payhip


At some stage in your life, your moral courage will be tested by a difficult challenge. How might you react? Will you have the strength to deal with that adversity? Here’s an example of how some very special people had to cope with a serious crisis. This powerful book graphically outlines the life-changing challenges faced by Samuel and his family, and how they managed to respond. An inspiring book. Please read it.

Tony Ryan, Educator, Futurist and Author of The Next Generation.

Nerves of Steel is a story of resilience as a family journeys from disorientation to reorientation when an unexpected illness upturns their world. The reflective and measured approach taken by Craig Thorne allows those working within a hospital setting to truly see the impact that each decision they make can have when delivering care.

Shail Maharaj, Senior Paediatric Physiotherapist, Queensland Paediatric Rehabilitation Service.

Nerves of Steel is an absorbing and uplifting must-read for health professionals and anyone involved in providing care for others. In our lives we may experience pain that feels endless, situations that appear hopeless, or waiting that seems unbearable. This inspirational story reminds us of the importance of being person-centred in how we think and act. It invites us to trust in the power of connection, to never give up hope and to believe that fulfilling your potential is always within reach, even in the face of overwhelming odds. It narrates a lived experience that lifts each of us and invites us to trust in and harness the power of human connection. It is about resilience, about family, about never giving up — and at its heart it is about the power of love. It will inspire you to create something beautiful out of the circumstances that life brings your way.

Associate Professor Frank Tracey, Chief Executive at Children’s Health Queensland Hospital and Health Service.

Samuel is an inspirational, intelligent, kind-hearted and humorous young man and Nerves of Steel is the remarkable story of his family and what is achievable through love, advocacy and commitment. With these, Samuel won’t just survive, he will thrive. The message for readers is that there is always hope.

Michelle Bond, Educational Leader.

I only crossed paths with Samuel and his family relatively recently and we have a common bond. A bond shared by more than 20,000 Australians suffering with paralysis. Those of us who suffer with paralysis and those closest to us know only too well the fear and pain that comes with uncertainty. We know the frustration and hopelessness that comes with serious limitation. We know what despair and loneliness really feels like. Despite these challenges, Samuel is an inspiration to us all. His positive attitude affects everyone around him.
As a community we have the power to decide what is socially important. Now is the time to invest in medical research and new treatments, create new technologies and new industries, and remove the burden of paralysis from innocent men, women and children. Everything is possible!

Perry Cross, Founder and Executive President of the Perry Cross Spinal Research Foundation, C2 Ventilated Quadriplegic.

Samuel is the strongest person I think I have ever met. His courage and resilience leave me in awe — and were an inspiration to me throughout my 2016 Rio Paralympic campaign. But it’s his remarkable character strengths — exhibited daily — that have left a lasting impression with me. His strength, determination and resilience are astonishing. In telling Samuel’s story, Craig takes the reader through the ups and downs of surviving transverse myelitis and offers strategies that can help others through life-changing times. Knowing Samuel’s story helped me. Reading Nerves of Steel can help you, too.

Matt McShane, Australian Paralympian, Aussie Rollers Basketball Team.

Spinal cord injury has a devastating effect on people and those around them. Craig’s work gives us an insight into what the journey is like from a parent’s perspective.

Dr Dinesh Palipana, OAM, LLB, MD, Queensland Doctor and Quadriplegic.