"Have you ever seen a double leg amputee attempt a bungee jump? One day, I’m going to do it,” proclaims Dwayne Fernandes. Sounds haughty. But when you find out this 25-yearold India-born Australian citizen holds several world records for being the first disabled stair climber to successfully conquer the Empire State Building, Sydney Tower, Eureka Tower in Melbourne, Central Plaza in Hong Kong and our Swissotel The Stamford, you’d take his seemingly lofty claim a little more seriously.
Born with a birth defect that left him with weak lower limbs, Fernandes made the decision to amputate both legs when he was just 11, and had them replaced with a pair of carbon-fibre prosthetic limbs. Despite his disability, Fernandes, who is an accountant by profession, never lets the bad hand that life has dealt him get him down. Inquisitive by nature and a staunch believer in trying everything in life at least once, he has a “been there, done that” list that would put many people his age to shame.
He has had a go at being a junior reporter at a television station, gone rock climbing, volunteered as a magician’s assistant, learnt to ride a bicycle – and even owns a scooter, which is his preferred mode of transport to get around his hometown of Sydney. Not one to shy away from the spotlight, Fernandes hopes that the media coverage of his world record climbs would inspire both able-bodied and disabled people to keep chasing their dreams, even if there are seemingly insurmountable obstacles along the way.