DJ dream comes true for severely disabled man

Elliott Johnson, Mark Johnson, Oli Handley and Tim Maguire
Elliott Johnson, Mark Johnson, Oli Handley and Tim Maguire

A man left severely disabled after he was hit by a car while watching an illegal road race is now enjoying a career as a DJ, thanks to the use of a specially-adapted wheelchair.

Tim Maguire, 27, who went to schools in Kettering and Corby, suffered severe brain and spinal injuries after the accident in St Peter’s Way, Northampton, in March 2000.

He is now unable to speak, but can communicate through a computer by using his head.

Mr Maguire has always wanted to be a DJ and completed a BTEC diploma in music at Northampton College in 2009, which he passed with a merit.

Using a special computer programme designed by his friend, Pete Cooper, Mr Maguire has learned how to DJ through two head switches on his wheelchair.

His friends, Mark Jones, Elliott Johnson and Oliver Handley, have also taken Tim’s DJ career a step further by designing a mobile set of decks out of scrap metal and recycled parts which they have called the Ez-roller.

Mr Maguire said the specially-designed DJ system had taken a lot of effort to learn, but he now uses it every day of his life and said it had greatly improved his happiness.

He said: “Ever since I was young I wanted to be a DJ but after my accident I never thought this would be possible.

“Life was really tough and I didn’t really see a point in living.

“But I think the Ez-roller is amazing and it looks and sounds wicked.

“It means I can DJ on the move as the roller is on wheels.

“It will allow me to play anywhere that can be accessed by wheels.

“We have also just got a Bluetooth link which means I can play on my laptop with no wires as it sends the signal straight to the sound system, which is amazing.

“I’m looking forward to next summer when we’re going to take it to loads of festivals and events in Northamptonshire and the whole of the UK.

“It will give me a platform to show my skills to as many people as possible and it is eco-powered which is something I believe in strongly.”

Mr Handley said the Ez-roller was three years in the planning and had taken about six weeks to build.

He said: “We’ve already taken it to the Umbrella Fair and everybody loved it. We’re hoping to take it on a tour through the town centre.”

As well as DJing through the Ez-roller, Mr Maguire also regularly plays at Roadmender student nights and is resident DJ at the Rockin’ Roadrunner, the club night for disabled people.

Months in rehabilitation

Tim Maguire was in a coma for 18 months after he was hit by a car involved in an illegal road race in Northampton in March 2000.

He was only 14 years old and spent several months in a rehabilitation centre in Tadworth, Surrey.

After the accident surgeons feared Tim would not regain consciousness, but he is now able to hold conversations through a computer.

A Northampton man later pleaded guilty to two charges of inflicting grievous bodily harm and one charge of dangerous driving. He was jailed for six years.

Tim went to Isebrook School in Kettering and then Corby Community College sixth form.