Phil joined the Army in 1993, when he was 23 years old and went into the Green Howards – an infantry regiment. Not long after he had completed basic training, Phil was sent on a 6 month tour to Northern Ireland, and on this tour Phil damaged his spine, which left him with a crushed disc.
Phil could still walk but was still in pain so decided to carry on as normal: “When I got back to England, I collapsed. I went to hospital and it was nearly a year after I was first injured – the hospital told me that I had cracked a vertebrae in my back.”
Phil was sent to Headley Court for rehabilitation and was medically discharged from the military due to the injury leaving him unable to continue his role in an infantry regiment.
“Ever since that day, my back has really limited what I can do and now I have problems in my knee and hips too. I got back into civilian life and have worked a range of jobs but the pain has always restricted what I can do.”
“I went through a tough time a few years back – I couldn’t work because of the pain I was in, which left me with money troubles and I ended up feeling very suicidal. I was put in touch with Help for Heroes – and the first time I spoke to Help for Heroes I saw the light at the end of the tunnel.”
Phil found out about the Heritage Heroes project on the H4H website, and said “Although I’m still in pain, Help for Heroes have also helped me with pain management, I was so determined to do this course. I’ve been 100% better in my own wellbeing. I’m meeting so many like-minded people, I’ve found that speaking to similar people is the best therapy I’ve found.”