Joining the Royal Navy in 1989, Nick served all around the world, often for lengthy periods of time: “After the events of September 11, I was unexpectedly deployed. My daughter was six weeks old when we sailed and nine months old when we got back.”
Towards the beginning of his service, Nick damaged his ankle, resulting in degenerative osteoarthritis. Then, in 2009 he shredded a ligament and damaged a nerve in his pelvis. This led to a chronic pain problem that was unable to be fixed, as a result, he was medically discharged in 2012. Left to navigate his transition to civilian life alone, Nick struggled:
“It was dark time and the lowest I’ve ever been, both physically and mentally. I had to leave a challenging and rewarding career I then learn to live with a debilitating illness – all whilst having a family to support. My life was flipped over. My children were looking after me, rather than me looking after my children”
By late 2012, Nick was finding it hard to cope. Reaching out to Help for Heroes he received a wealth of support which he had previously not encountered:
“They helped me discover what I was going to do and what my future would look like. I received help to adapt my house, so it could become accessible once more. I was also introduced to another charity to receive treatment for my chronic pain… something I wouldn’t have received through the NHS. I’m really, really grateful for that.”
Today, thanks to your support, Nick and his family have been given a second chance at life:
“There are still days that I find life really challenging and I wish I was not in pain, but that’s not going to happen. It’s taken about five years for me to be content with life. There are some things I don’t like about it… but that’s the same for everyone.”
And when it comes to the future, Nick has one simple request:
“It’s important we continue to support Help for Heroes, so they can help those who have been wounded injured or sick. Our Armed Forces sacrifice so much, and life continues after injury. We must give our support, so the lives of those affected by their service can be as normal as possible, and so they can once again give back to society.”
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