From education to employment

Nursing student to compete in Invictus Games

For the last few months, Debbie has been juggling her time studying for a demanding nursing career with travelling some 1,500 miles to Invictus training camps at weekends.

Debbie says the Invictus Games has been a life-changing experience for her: 

“I felt a little bit like a paper bag. I wasn’t grounded. But I’m grounded now. I have got focus and doing Invictus will actually help me with my nursing degree, because they are both about determination.”

Debbie was a Master-at-Arms before being medically discharged just two years short of her full 22 years’ service. She says it was a devastating blow for her: 

“I was medically discharged due to back and knee injury. It was a really sad time to be discharged. I had 19 months to serve.”

At the time, she was pregnant with her younger daughter Bethan. Because of the disappointment of leaving the career she loved and the limitations due to her physical injuries, she withdrew into family life and gave up the sport she loved.

After nine years Debbie finally found Help for Heroes thanks to Bethan. Her daughter was making cakes to raise money for the Charity, when Debbie realised there was help and support available for her and joined up.

She says she didn’t realise how much her confidence had been hit: 

“When I first went to Help for Heroes I went back into the Naval Base I had been discharged from ten years previously. I wasn’t very good at making eye contact with people. You don’t realise but I started internally shaking, all kinds of things happened that I don’t know what you’d call it.”

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