“The diagnosis hit me hard and I went down a spiral rollercoaster. The sports I enjoyed I couldn’t compete in due to my injuries, and I found it hard to make friends and hold conversations. I was constantly on edge, angry, Irritated, tired, stressed, and depressed.”
13 years ago, we made a promise on behalf of the nation to be here for our wounded heroes, for life. Wounded heroes like Dave Hackett.
Just last year, Dave received life-changing news. Diagnosed with grade two Bilateral Medial Tibial Stress Syndrome (MTSS), the repetitive-stress injury left his shins unable to heal. As a result, he also developed compartment syndrome - a painful condition caused by bleeding or swelling within the muscles.
Alongside this, Dave was told he had Multiple Traumatic Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). Reflecting on the past year, he says,
“The diagnosis hit me hard and I went down a spiral rollercoaster.
“The sports I enjoyed I couldn’t compete in due to my injuries, and I found it hard to make friends and hold conversations.
“I was constantly on edge, angry, Irritated, tired, stressed, and depressed."
Struggling to process his medical diagnosis, Dave first reached out to us in March. He joined our Band of Brothers Fellowship to meet with those with a shared experience.
But just as he joined, lockdown put face-to-face contact on hold. Undeterred, our Fellowship team moved meetings online. Which, as Dave explains, not only kept everyone connected, but delivered some pleasant surprises.
“Band of Brothers gave me someone to talk to. I also met like-minded people who understand my physical and mental injuries,” he says.
“On some virtual get-togethers Help for Heroes Ambassadors, like Ross Kemp, dialled in. Which was great, as it gave us all something to look forward to.”
Fellowship also opened the world of online streaming to Dave. Seeing veteran Paul Colling taking part in our recent Hero Up charity streaming event, Dave was inspired to take on his own 24-hour streaming challenge."
“Feeling comfortable talking in virtual Fellowship meetings or whilst streaming has really helped during these uncertain months,” he explains.
And it’s not just Dave who found our virtual Fellowship groups a lifeline during the coronavirus pandemic. Since lockdown began, 119 new members joined, raising our total membership to 13,000 people… all in need of understanding and a listening ear.
Our wounded veterans and their families need us now more than ever; since January, over 2,000 individuals have reached out to us for support and we saw a surge in demand for our services from people like Dave when the pandemic hit. Please help us keep our promise to be here for them.
Please help us keep our promise to be here for wounded veterans and their families.