Living with a life-changing injury or illness isn’t easy, and the devastating effects of the pandemic
have made things even harder for our wounded and their families in recent months. The first
lockdown saw a surge in demand for our services and as restrictions continue, more continue to
come forward seeking help.
You’ve given a lifeline to so many like Anthony and Shelley, Caroline and Kirk.
Thank you from the mother of one of our wounded heroes
“It’s all thanks to you that my son Anthony and I have had the support we needed during what’s been a really difficult time."
Here Shelley Cooper explains what your donations mean to her and her son, Anthony.
“You may remember our story from Help for Heroes’ urgent appeal back in November, asking the public to get behind the wounded heroes and their families hit hard by the lockdowns. As one of those families, we couldn’t be more grateful to each and every one of you who donated. The money you raised is making a life-changing difference, not just to our lives but to the lives of many others like Anthony.
“Anthony was blown up by an Improvised Explosive Device (IED) in 2010. He lost his leg and suffered the worst brain damage doctors had seen in 25 years, having to re-learn to talk, eat, sit up – even breathe.
“Because of his health conditions, he’s had to shield since last March. He’s defied so many odds in his life and is remarkably independent, but we didn’t want him to be alone at such an unsettling time and so he moved in with me.
“Even though Anthony has been at home, he’s struggled with a sense of isolation and the upheaval to both our lives has had an impact on my mental health too. But thanks to you, we’ve had regular contact with counsellors from the Charity’s Hidden Wounds team, and Anthony also has regular calls with his case manager, Phil.
“I can’t tell you the difference it’s made to both our lives having the support and people to talk to. I just want to say a huge thank you, on behalf of myself, Anthony and my whole family.
“Anthony will fight a battle for the rest of his life and so will we, but thanks to you, we never have to feel like we’re fighting that battle alone. Thank you, from the bottom of our hearts.”
How you helped Caroline find her voice again
“I am so grateful for your continued support. The choir has been my lifeline during lockdown; giving me the strength to get through these challenging times. Thank you.”
In 1994 Caroline, a Royal Military Police officer, was shot four times whilst out on patrol. Left with a “broken face” and Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), her only form of communication was through a hole in her throat, which she had to cover to make a sound. Today, she has overcome all odds and sings with our Help for Heroes Choir.
Here, she shares her story and explains how your support and the choir have been her 'lifeline'.
“When the pandemic hit and in-person rehearsals were cancelled, it triggered my PTSD. It was further aggravated when I was told to self-isolate for medical reasons and subsequently furloughed. Fortunately, our choir manager quickly started weekly virtual rehearsals and coffee mornings. Both helped me cope and were a great way to remain connected."
YOU HELP OUR WOUNDED TO OVERCOME THEIR DAILY STRUGGLES
Thanks to you, Kirk can now continue making a living from his passion.
Kirk served for 23 years and, due to the wear and tear caused by many years of speed marching, suffers from leg and back pain when sitting for any length of time. He also lives with Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) which, coupled with his physical condition, can make life really tough.
When Help for Heroes first started supporting Kirk in 2017, we encouraged him to pursue photography, which had always been one of his passions. He enrolled on one of our Business Experience courses and learned how to turn his hobby into a business, which became really meaningful and gave him a lot of enjoyment.
“Photography has been such a huge part of my recovery journey as I find it so therapeutic."
Unfortunately though, Kirk started to find that the time spent at his desk editing his photos was leaving him in agony. Especially when the first lockdown hit – his photography was his positive focus, yet he wasn’t able to sit for long periods of time at his desk.
We did a bit of investigative work and discovered his office chair was the main culprit! The size and design were completely unsuitable and making the pain in his back and legs worse. Your support meant we were able to provide him with a brand new chair to support him properly.
“My computer is also my lifeline for staying in touch with the friends I’ve met through Help for Heroes. They’re important to me because we have shared experiences and common ground.
“My physical pain, coupled with my PTSD, was like being trapped in a vicious circle. The new chair is the difference between night and day and has put an end to that feeling.”
“Thank you. You’ve made my days so much more comfortable.”