Royal Navy Veteran Nick Richardson followed in his Grandfather’s footsteps to live a life at sea. Signing up in 1989, he served all around the world, often for lengthy periods of time: “After the events of September 11, I was unexpectedly deployed. My daughter was six weeks old when we sailed and nine months old when we got back.”
Medically discharged in 2012, due to degenerative osteoarthritis and chronic pain, Nick was left to navigate his transition to civilian life alone:
“It was a dark time and the lowest I’ve ever been, both physically and mentally. I had to leave a challenging and rewarding career and learn to live with a debilitating illness – all whilst having a family to support.”
Having to tackle the daily physical challenges his illness caused, Nick soon reached his limit:
“My children were looking after me, rather than me looking after my children. I was wondering how we would get by month to month? What would happen if we had to sell our house? My body eventually said ‘enough! Stop trying to push yourself, you can’t do what you used to do.’”
Then, Nick encountered Help for Heroes and began to discover hope:
“They helped me discover what my future would look like. I received help to adapt my house, so it can become accessible once more. I was also introduced to another charity to receive treatment for my chronic pain… something I wouldn’t have received through the NHS. I’m really, really grateful for that.”
As we approach the centenary of the end of the First World War, it’s not only important to remember the sacrifices of the past, but also to look to the future. By supporting campaigns like There But Not There, you’ll be supporting families just like Nick’s, today.
Remember the sacrifices of the past century and proudly support our wounded, injured and sick today and for the next 100 years.
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