Band of Brother, Mary Wilson had been in the army serving as a Community Mental Health Nurse specialist for almost 20 years when she was medically discharged. After being thrown from a horse and hitting a wall while training with the Royal Horse Artillery, she fractured her right cheek bone and broke two toes. The accident also tore the bicep muscle off the bone from her right shoulder. Three operations later and Mary was unable to pass her Weapon Handling Test. She was also sadly diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis (MS). Mary says; "Each day is different when you have MS. You get those difficult times when my mood swings and frustration have been terrible. The fatigue, pain memory loss and lack of co-ordination can make life extremely hard."
Mary, who lives in Edinburgh with her partner Judi refuses to let her illness and injury stop her from living a full and active life. Recently she has completed a personal challenge of climbing all the Munros (Mountains over 3000ft) in Scotland. "I have been active throughout most of my life. When I was injured and diagnosed with MS I felt like part of my life had been taken away from me and the loss of confidence and self-esteem was overwhelming. I had to learn to focus on what I could achieve, and not what I couldn’t, and view disability as being just different.
For Mary, Sport has been such an important part of her recovery and Mary is competing in Field Athletics and Swimming during the Invictus Games. Mary says: “Sport, whatever it is, really does make a difference. It helps focus body and soul, keeps you fit and stimulates your mind. Help for Heroes understand this and are there to help you along the way."
Mary is very thankful for the support she has received through the Chairty: “Help for Heroes have turned my life around. They have given me back my focus, determination and commitment, something I had lost when I was discharged from the Army. The long term benefit of rehabilitation with sport to servicemen and women is invaluable. I now stand proud again with my fellow comrades knowing they are beside me to smooth the transition back to physical and psychological wellbeing. They have given me back my self-belief and identity and now it is time to do something for them in return.”