Updated on

Tom O’Brien, from Accrington, signed up to the Army at 17 and served for six years with the Scots Guards, involved in deployments to Iraq and Afghanistan.

He has battled with post-traumatic stress disorder, hearing loss and arthritis as a result of his time in the services and credits sport as an essential part of his recovery journey.

“I’ve realised how vitally important sport is to my recovery, I need to set goals and work hard to achieve them.

“It’s hard to describe what my life was like before and even harder for others to imagine. I spent 3 years after Afghanistan descending further into misery, aggression was all I could ever muster, I destroyed everything around me; my home and the trust of my family.

“After being hospitalised and spending the next 2 and a half years heavily medicated and miserable, my health deteriorated as I gained weight from being so sedated, I was introduced to Invictus by a friend with whom I had served.”

His introduction to the Invictus journey served as a turning point in Tom’s life; “Since then everything has changed, I now have drive and focus, I have rebuilt friendships with old comrades and have made so many new and wonderful friends.”

The pandemic proved a challenging time for Tom who has had changes to family life alongside the closure of gyms making training difficult.

“I have struggled getting going again but getting back on the journey is giving me purpose.

“My health and fitness are returning, something I truly thought would be gone forever. Sports recovery continues to be vital to my health and wellbeing.”

Invictus Competitor - Tom O'Brien
Invictus Competitor - Tom O'Brien - Invictus Competitor - Tom O'Brien - Help for Heroes