Donna’s husband Conrad was a Private serving with 1 Royal Anglians in Northern Ireland in 2000 when he was involved in an incident.
The physical and psychological injuries he sustained affect him daily.
As members of the Help for Heroes’ Band of Brothers and Band of Sisters fellowship, Donna, Conrad and their son Alfie (12) were recently invited to enjoy a Bushcraft activity day at the Essex Wildlife Trust.
Donna said: “We had a lovely day out in the fresh air and it was so nice to take part in something together,
“We don’t really have time to do stuff as a family, when we got there and mingled in with the others we all really enjoyed it, Alfie really enjoyed building the den with his dad, it was lovely to have that bonding time.”
Having been in a bomb blast there are now some activities that Conrad isn’t able to do because of his injuries and the pain he experiences. He also suffers from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and struggles with being amongst a crowd. This can make the busy festive season a challenging on for the Molloys.
“Christmas can be really hard. We’ve never gone to a Christmas panto. PTSD can make you feel trapped in an enclosed building. When you’ve been blown up you don’t trust anyone.
You can’t do a recce beforehand and you’re among people that you don’t know,” explained Donna.
“In the build up to Christmas the fireworks begin and last all the way through to New Year. This can result in horrific nightmares and flashbacks. We both feel guilty that Alfie has never been to a firework display or that he has to explain to his school friends why his Dad can’t be at a football match,
“Family life can revolve around hospital visits, physio appointments and trips to the chemist, the kids can get left out of things and there is little family time.”
Help for Heroes has supported Conrad and his family with welfare support including advice on gaining funding for adaptations to their house and being a friendly listening ear.
“Conrad is having surgery on his knee before Christmas and it’s going to be tough but Help for Heroes means a great deal to us. We can talk to anyone there. They know us and understand.”