Sgt Sadie Melling has served as a nurse in Princess Mary’s Royal Air Force Nursing Service for eight years, acting on a desire to support injured troops. Keen to deploy and embrace military opportunity, she completed a skydiving qualification a year into service. A collision with a fence left her suspended in a tree with both legs shattered at bizarre angles. She found herself in a surreal position, at the start of her career, alongside her patients. Inspired by their determination she threw herself into rehab, setting a goal to walk, return to nursing in six months and deploy. As time went on, consecutive complications lead to the realisation of a permanent inability to run, impact or deploy.
Sadie said: “I lost my focus in life and full of emotion I hit a low. My friends then suggested I apply for the Invictus Games which has saved me in every way. Finding adaptive sport allowed me to exert myself with others who understand the frustration of permanent restriction. In particular, the trauma had an immense influence on my family, this journey is for them, to prove there is life after adversity and to inspire people to adapt, overcome and never give up.”