A former military nurse from St Helens who was told he had a less than five per chance of having children and walking again after being shot several times has confounded expectations.
Anthony Williams was given the news after he was critically wounded during a tour of Afghanistan.
But, thanks in part to the work of a soldier’s charity, he is now walking unaided ... and is the father of two daughters.
Now the 32-year-old is taking a giant leap from a plane to raise money for the military charity who provided a catalyst to his road to recovery.
Fall for the Fallen is Blesma’s annual charity tandem skydiving event to honour our fallen heroes. This year the event was arranged to mark the 100th anniversary of the Battle of the Somme.
Blesma, The Limbless Veterans is the national charity for all limbless service men and women, their widows and dependants. It was formed in the years following the First World War and became a national charity in 1932.
Blesma provided me with an ambulance transport vehicle so I could lay down whilst traveling to Hedley Court. My spine was too unstable to do the journey otherwiseAnthony Williams
Anthony decided to take part as it was an opportunity to give back to the charity that came to his aid to ensure he could start Rehabilitation at DMRC Headley Court at the earliest opportunity.
In June 2010, whilst Anthony a Corporal, was serving in Afghanistan as a RAP Nurse in the Queen Alexandra Royal Army Nursing Corps, Anthony and the patrol team he was with came under direct enemy fire. Anthony was attending to a casualty, when he was shot in the back of his left shoulder.
When realised his initial injury was not life threatening and was waiting for Medevac, he returned to help direct care to a casualty closest to him.
Shortly after he was shot numerous times hitting body armour and also through the left hip. The gunshot wound left Anthony with critical spinal injuries.
Blesma really got the ball rolling for my recovery”, said Anthony. “Without their help, I would have not have had accessed the specialist appointments as early on, which helped encourage me to set my own limitations and my pint glass became half full instead of empty.
“Blesma provided me with an ambulance transport vehicle so I could lay down whilst traveling to Hedley Court. My spine was too unstable to do the journey otherwise.”
Before Blesma provided Anthony the transport, Anthony was looking at a future in a wheelchair, had less than a five per cent chance of having children and told he would never regain his bowel or urinary functions.
Now through hard work and the help he received from doctors at Headley Court, Anthony is able to walk with the help of leg splints, has two daughters and working functions.
“I really wanted to give something back to Blesma as I’m so grateful to them. I saw the Skydive as a great opportunity to raise money for them and mark the 100th anniversary of the Somme. I really want my girls to look at me as their biggest inspiration and just to prove I have truly survived the Battlefield.”
Anthony is set to jump on Sunday, July 10 to raise money for Blesma, if you wish to donate please visit https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/TonywilliamsMedic