Biography

Simon posing with his medal

Blown Away: Biography

 Try and find five good things from one bad.

SMH

Background

I served as a combat medic in the British Army and suffered life changing injuries on 26th October 2009. Whilst out on a patrol as a medic an Improvised Explosive Device (I.E.D) exploded beneath me. This resulted in damage to both my legs and right arm. After my initial treatment I underwent five years of surgery, rehabilitation and physiotherapy. This allowed me to walk again with prosthetic legs.
Over the years I have had some incredible support which allowed me reinvent myself. I participated in many challenges which has allowed me to raise over £1 million for charities.

Career

I am proud of my military service despite only wanting to join the army for a short time. I volunteered for everything which came my way. This mindset lead to some amazing adventures both in the UK and abroad. I have white water rafted in Canada, learned to Nordic ski in Sweden and swam in shark infested waters. Sport and adventurous activities were the key which unlocked my passion  for life.

Blown Away: Biography

Over the years I have learned about the world we live and tried to understand it. Early on in my career I went to Bosnia, I wanted to breakdown barriers so I learned local phrases with some success. Later on I returned to Bosnia which coincided with the terrorist attack in New York. Who knew that attack was going to have such a profound effect on my life. In 2003 I traveled to Iraq for the initial ground invasion. I am left feeling that there was a missed opportunity from the very beginning of that conflict. 2003 ended up being very busy. Soon after retuning to the UK I flew out to the Democratic Republic of Congo. I am not sure why it took four days, four countries and three continents to get to, but it was worth it. In 2009 my life changed forever both mentally and physically. In Afghanistan I treat more traumatic injuries in 26 days than I had in my whole military career. That same trauma was to visit me with devastating consequences.

Blown Away: Biography

Charity Work

Since my injury I have wanted to ‘give back’ to the charities which helped me and my family so much. I become a volunteer ambassador for various organisations. Over the years I have helped raise over a million pounds. I have been lucky enough to take part in some incredible events to raise money. I’ve hand cycled across northern France and competed in a team who cycled across America. Not only did we cycle over 3000 miles, we finished it in seven days, seven hours. I also used to compete in triathlons before becoming injured. It was so important for me to complete Cotswolds 1/2 Ironman Triathlon. Every year I take part in different challenges and events, why? Because I can. But, it is also important to me to raise awareness and money for worthwhile causes.

What I do now?

Apart from speaking at schools, colleges and businesses I have started new projects. For example I designed and created an online clothes shop. This is another way to raise charitable funds, but also have some fun. I found away to use my skills by teaching first aid to journalists and international groups. More recently I have started working on a research project at Headley Court. We are looks at the long term effects of combat injuries in injured servicemen. As you can see I am still very busy, I want to be useful. I want to give back. I want to contribute to society.

Life is like a book, don’t keep rereading the same chapter, turn the pages of your life to find out what happens

SMH