News / Simons Recovery Story
Tuesday 11 February 2020

Simon's Recovery Story

Posted by: Help For Heroes

“For people like Simon, going to Defence Medical Rehabilitation Centre (DMRC) would be so beneficial. The people who work there are specially trained to support people like him. People like Simon have had careers cut short due to injury, but that military mindset is still with them. Being within military surroundings they’d still feel under that umbrella and be able to give it their all to their recovery.”

– Simon’s mum, Lynne.

Help for Heroes believes a small number of veterans with ongoing complex rehabilitation needs resulting from operational injury, deserve access to the world-class skills at Stanford Hall, to support their recovery, whether that’s at the DMRC itself, or within their own communities. That includes one of our Very Seriously Injured veterans, Simon Vaughan.

Simon was one of Afghanistan’s most seriously injured veterans and was not expected to survive his injuries.

In 2008, the former Army Corporal was traveling through Helmand Province when the vehicle he was in was blown up by an improvised explosive device (IED). He hit the frame of it before being flung eight metres by the impact, hitting his head. His heart stopped beating at the scene of the attack, starving his brain of oxygen, whilst medics fought to keep him alive.

He said: “They wrote my obituary and pinned it to me for the flight to Birmingham, because they didn’t think I would still be alive when I got there – but I was.”

Simon’s mum Lynne believes he would greatly benefit from access to DMRC Stanford Hall.

She said: “I know what going to Headley Court did for Simon. He was trying better for Headley Court than he was for anyone else – and Stanford Hall could be the same. The military environment gives that push, that boost. Especially for those with complex brain injuries. There’s always a chance that they could find something to help him in the future.

“If Help for Heroes weren’t paying for Simon’s speech and language, he would have nothing. We want this not just for Simon, but for every other Very Seriously Injured veteran who feels forgotten. Every veteran should be able to access what they need – and when they need it.”

Thanks to LIBOR funding, Help for Heroes has been able to provide Simon and his family with a qualified care team, which has relieved a lot of the stress on his close family. The funding has also meant Simon can receive the right psychological and psychiatric support, which has improved his mental wellbeing and morale.

Simon added: “Help for Heroes has been brilliant. If it wasn’t for them, I would have no speech and language, or physio. They paid for private people to come in, because the NHS had discharged me completely. I was injured 10 years ago and Help for Heroes are the only people still involved.”

Simon is one of almost 40,000 people whose lives have been derailed by injury. Join our mission to help all wounded veterans stand strong.