After the explosion, the next thing Ben Zissman remembers is waking up in hospital with his childhood sweetheart, Ciara, at his bedside.
Six weeks earlier, an IED hit the armoured vehicle he was travelling in. The blast broke Ben’s, ankle, four of his ribs, and fractured his pelvis, but it was a spinal cord injury that caused the most damage, leaving him paralysed from the waist down.
Ben’s road to recovery has been tough, but his determination knows no bounds. He dreams of becoming a primary school teacher, and of competing at the Paralympic Games as a hand-cyclist, but the biggest motivation for speeding through his recovery was being able to walk down the aisle on his wedding day.
This summer, Ben achieved his goal. Aided by a frame and callipers that were provided by Help for Heroes, he strode proudly down the aisle where he waited for his bride-to-be, Ciara.
Immensely proud of her husband, Ciara said: “I wanted the world to see how far Ben had come since the explosion that changed our lives forever.”
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Ben is extremely grateful for the support he has received so far but, despite being remarkably determined, he also recognises that he’ll need support for life. Help for Heroes is working tirelessly to ensure the support networks that have helped Ben will still be there in years to come, but we can’t make these promises without your help.