Our congratulations go out to Army veteran Ben Bainbridge and his new wife Steph on their wedding last Friday.
Ben, 30, from Beverley, in Yorkshire, saw his leg shattered after he was blown up in Afghanistan, aged just 18, while serving with the 2nd Battalion of the Yorkshire Regiment.
His injuries were so extensive that when he was treated by specialist medics, he had only two pints of blood left in his body. He survived against the odds, but the severe nerve damage to his left leg meant he struggled to walk as his foot was paralysed, so he often stumbled and tripped over.
However, we were able to fund a customised leg brace for Ben that enables him to enjoy days out with his family – and, particularly, the day he’d been so looking forward to: his wedding to Steph, at St Michael’s Parish Church, in Skidby.
Ben said: “Usually my ankle is hypersensitive, but this leg brace feels comfortable as it fits on the outside of my shoes and goes up to my calf so stops my foot from flopping.”
It was Steph who initially got in touch with us. She said: “When he stood up and walked for the first time in the new leg brace, I cried, it felt so amazing. It was overwhelming because just being able to walk has been a daily struggle for him for 11 years.
“Help for Heroes has been there for both of us, I’m now in touch with other people whose partners have been injured so neither of us feels so alone anymore. It’s never too late.”
The marriage was a real ‘family affair’. Ben proposed to Steph on Mother’s Day last year, with the help of the couple’s Jack Russells, Molly and Rex, who sported ‘Will You?’ and ‘Marry Me?’ messages on their collars. And the couple’s daughters – Ellie, 11, and Ariel, seven – served as bridesmaids.
Everyone at the Charity wishes Ben and Steph a lifetime of happiness together as they start this exciting new chapter.
His customised leg brace has massively improved Ben and his whole family’s quality of life. We urge the Government to reinstate the Veterans Mobility Fund so that many more veterans like Ben can continue to thrive in their recovery from injury and illness.
Find out how you can help make a difference for veterans like Ben