Jennifer Warren was injured in a skiing accident in 2007; she lost her mobility, her independence and was prevented from doing the job she loved. Jen joined the Army for adventure and a touch of teenage rebellion - her father is ex-RAF. Having worked as a Regimental Medical Officer in Germany and completed a tour of Afghanistan, she had returned home to start professional anaesthetic training when the accident happened.
"Life is what happens when you’re making other plans," says Jen when talking about her injury but she has not let her injuries stop her and this year she took part in the Lewa Marathon in Kenya.
It was the Help for Heroes funded Battle Back, a military Adventurous Sport Rehabilitation programme, that suggested to Jen that she could take part in the challenging marathon. Based in the Lewa Wildlife Conservancy in Kenya, the course had never been attempted in a wheelchair before. Seeing the course, Jen began to worry that she had taken on an impossible challenge but with the support of the other injured service personnel in her team she made it to the finish line.
"Crossing the finish line was an incredibly emotional experience as I finally felt something I had been searching for since my injury - a sense of achievement,' she recalls. 'I now feel much more confident and ready to face up to the many problems my injuries present. Although I can't change what has happened to me, I can choose how I tackle the problems my injuries present."
During Jen's rehab she has also experienced the H4H swimming pool and gym complex at Headley Court. She says "The first class facilities are complemented with personal touches like the engraved paving stones leading to the door detailing some of the many fundraising activities which made the building possible and the walls decorated with photos with stories of servicemen and women who have had rehabilitation at Headley Court. There can be no doubt about who made this building possible and who it was intended for."
She continues, "H4H have provided the core funding for this Battle Back project, making it accessible for all. I cannot thank H4H enough for their part in this."
Jen has also competed at the Invictus Games, the training for which has helped give her focus after her initial injury: "By challenging myself through sport, the huge challenges I face at work seem less daunting. My training has made me physically stronger enabling me to look after my daughter more independently. Sport just gives me a sense of achievement which I'm unable to find anywhere else and makes me happy.”