Simon -harmer

Simon Harmer

Simon's Story

Simon's first thought after the explosion was of his wife: they had been married just three months when disaster struck and Simon believes that it was the thought of her that kept him alive in the minutes and hours that followed.

It was the 26 October 2009, Sergeant Simon Harmer, 33, was just one month into his tour, serving with the Royal Army Medical Corps in Afghanistan. Simon was just 200 metres outside of the patrol base, when he stepped on an IED. The first person on the scene was a young Private and, despite the severity of his wounds, Simon managed to talk the boy through applying the initial, life saving, first aid. A medic, Simon was under no illusions about how bad his injuries were.

Simon's right leg was instantly blown off below the knee and his left leg, deemed irretrievable, was amputated above the knee when back at Camp Bastion. It was five days before Simon was aware of what was going on, when he woke up in Selly Oak Hospital, Birmingham surrounded by his wife and family.

The road to recovery

Just two months after his injury, Simon was up and walking, at Headley Court describing the support he received as 'absolutely awesome'. He enjoyed using the Help for Heroes funded Swimming Pool and Gym Complex at Headley Court, as well as getting fully involved in sports rehabilitation through Battle Back.

Help for Heroes has supported Simon and his family throughout his recovery by funding essential home adaptations and providing opportunities for him to get back into sport through the QRF. Three years on, Simon has cycled 350 miles across Northern France on a Help for Heroes Big Battlefield Bike Ride, taken part in the 2012 Bolton Ironman Triathlon and cycled 3,051 miles across America in just seven days with a group of eight wounded Servicemen.

Simon explains: 'It is hard to vocalise what Help for Heroes means to me, they have helped me on so many different levels. From funding the swimming pool at Headley Court and the money granted for my home to changing the public's perception of those who are returning wounded. The wristband is now an iconic symbol of support that people instantly recognise; it is such a comfort when you see people wearing them. Knowing that they care makes you feel humble.'