Veteran with PTSD says Prince Harry and the Invictus Games helped him ‘live’ again.
An RAF veteran with severe PTSD says competing in the Invictus Games and meeting Prince Harry helped him to ‘live’ again.
Sleaford's David Morris was diagnosed with severe post traumatic stress disorder following an incident in 2011 while serving as an RAF survival equipment specialist with the Red Arrows.
Such was the effect of the illness, that David said he was ‘scared of my own shadow’ and didn’t even want to leave the house’
But now, thanks to his determination, and encouragement from his brother, David has just competed in the Invictus Games in Sydney for wounded and sick military personnel and veterans.
David said: “It didn’t occur to me that having been diagnosed with PTSD a few years before, that I would even be eligible. I thought it was for people with missing limbs and other physical injuries. “My PTSD has had a massive effect on my life.
"I was scared of my own shadow and worried to the point of not wanting to leave my house. I felt cut off and didn’t really know how to get through it. “My brother, a serving officer in the RAF, signed me up for the Invictus Games.
"I attended the Sportsfest in Nottingham and it made me realise I was capable of more than what I had been doing. It bought my confidence back and started changing me back to the person I was.”
“I was invited to numerous training camps throughout the following months which culminated in the Invictus Games Sydney 2018 trials held at Bath University sports arena,” David explained. “Rowing went well despite my nerves, I managed to get 2 PB’s in my 4 minute endurance and 1 minute sprint races.
"When it came to the swimming events, I had got so worked up, I was ready to get in my car and go home, I was panicking, I had lost my breath and all sense of reason and I was convinced that it was going to end in disaster.
"But, the Invictus spirit was well and truly alive, with my team mates pushing me through every little step that I took. I managed to get myself on a start block and dive in to the pool, once in I had no option but to swim.
"I couldn’t believe my eyes when I reached the end and punched the wall, I had smashed my PB and looked up to see my friend Michelle crying, she was over the moon that I had beaten off the demons and achieved something I never thought possible.”