Steve served in the Falklands conflict, which had a lasting impact on his mental health, and he became partially paralysed in 2018 after an aneurysm in his neck ruptured his aorta. Our charity helped fund a sophisticated wheelchair to improve his independence and mobility.

Steve joined the Royal Artillery (RA) in 1977 and served for 16 years, including tours in N Ireland, Germany and Belize. During the 1982 Falklands conflict, he saw action with 29 Commando Regiment RA. He is proud of his time as a commando, the pinnacle of his career.

Photo credit: Em Fitzgerald

Steve’s combat experience in the Falklands deeply affected his mental health and his traumatic memories triggered PTSD. Since 2018, his physical health has also deteriorated after he collapsed when an aneurysm burst in his neck resulting in a ruptured aorta and paralysis in his lower body. His independent mobility was severely impaired.

In 2022, in collaboration with our close partners, SSAFA, we contributed £5,500 towards a sophisticated three-in-one wheelchair (manual, powered and pedalled hand bike) to improve Steve’s independence and mobility. We also provided £1,500 towards a workshop to enable him to start wood carving again, which helped him cope with PTSD. The Royal British Legion, RA, Help for Heroes and SAMA82 also donated funds.

Steve’s wood carving workshop. Photo credit: Em Fitzgerald

Steve says: “I am a proud man and don’t expect to ask for help. I owe people a lot and feel my wheelchair has been life-changing. It has given me a new lease of life and my freedom back.”

Steve’s wife Yvonne adds: “It’s just amazing to think that so many people were willing to fund Steve’s wheelchair and shed, and give him back some independence and freedom. I don’t have to think about whether I have to push him up a big hill or get over a pavement because now he has the means to do this himself.”

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