If there ever there was a story about resilience, beating the odds, dealing with disruption, coping with change, characterful and courageous leadership - Tom's story is the one to listen to.
Tom is known for the 2016 feature film Starfish and the accompanying memoir, both of which chart his startling transformation from corporate banker to quadruple amputee.
It charts his amazing resilience whilst undergoing facial reconstruction, and for his unstinting determination to be the very best husband and father he could possibly be under a wholly unique set of circumstances. Somehow, he makes light of it all in his talks, cracking jokes and dazzling audiences with his robotic hands, helping them to see about their own challenges in a completely new perspective.
Originally from Essex, Tom Ray graduated from Exeter University before joining NatWest as a business lending manager. At the age of 35, he quit the workplace to become a house-husband – but then a Sepsis attack changed his life overnight.
Rehabilitation was a long, hard journey, with profound challenges to Tom’s physical, mental and spiritual well-being.
He fought to get back into work, to keep his family together, and, as speaker for Resilience+Co, to show the world that the human spirit is indomitable.
He is a long-standing supporter of the UK Sepsis Trust and gives regular TV, radio and press interviews about the patient experience and resilience. When he’s not enjoying himself in front of audiences, you’re most likely to read about him in the Daily Mail, see him on Panorama or hear him on BBC Radio 4’s Today programme. In 2018 he was cited in the Shaw Trust’s Disability Power List as one of the Top 100 disabled influencers in the UK.
Tom’s takeaway message is that optimism and that kind of positive outlook can reap great rewards in business.
No matter what business sector you’re in, Tom is guaranteed to inspire your audience, humble them, leaving them with ideas and strategies to help them cope with adversity and change. He’s surprisingly funny too.
"My sincere gratitude for speaking at our annual conference, your presentation was inspirational, interesting, thought provoking and excellently done. We have had very many, very positive comments in the delegate feedback with 72 of 75 respondents rating your talk as 'excellent', a most impressive response!"
Chairing Clinical Director, Wessex Trauma Network
“This is a powerful and highly moving story of extraordinary resilience, love and determination. Tom is outstanding and I felt humbled to hear him speak to an audience of health professionals. He offers messages about how to cope with a massive change in life circumstances and encourage people to develop strong networks of support.”
Sir Bruce Keogh, Medical Director NHS England
“Without doubt the most moving and powerful talk I have had the privilege to attend at a conference… If we see nothing else today, month or year, listening to Tom Ray was an honour. An incredible story.’’
Audience feedback, Society of Clinical Negligence Lawyers
“Tom’s presence made a profound impact, not only on me but on the delegates, many of who have contacted me to say how much they took away from his session. I think it’s true to say we all felt a range of emotions through his presentation and found it truly inspirational. I am sure your story has been at the forefront of all of our minds since we returned to work, both clinically in continuing to raise awareness of sepsis but also the individual and collective resilience that you so eloquently described.”
Professor Jane Cummings, Chief Nursing Officer, England