Simon Taylor joined the army at 16 and served with the Light Dragoons for over a decade. In September 2009, he was in a vehicle when it hit an IED. The explosion killed the driver next to him and Simon was severely injured on the left side of his body, suffering a collapsed lung, spinal injuries and a shattered left ankle. He was in a coma for a month and then wheelchair bound with a spinal brace.
Despite many operations to save his ankle, the pain was such that Simon eventually decided to undergo elective amputation below the knee in 2011. Simon had lost count of the number of surgeries he had undergone – the latest being a spinal fusion at Christmas – and felt his life had come to a halt and that he was falling apart. He’d always worked well under pressure but the slightest thing could send him over the edge and he was suffering from nightmares, though he never really remembered them, only the loud noises which would wake him. He didn’t know what to do with his life, although he knew he wanted to do something that made a difference to others.
During his rehabilitation he became fascinated by the physical side of rehabilitation, so much so that the staff asked him if he’d considered studying physiotherapy himself. He was invited by an instructor to go along to some classes to see what he thought and he was hooked!
Simon has now been accepted to a Sports Rehabilitation Degree Course at Sussex University starting in September 2013 and is currently completing his Sports Massage Level 4. Due to a shoulder operation scheduled during exam time, Simon recently had to take his practical exam two months early and passed with flying colours.
Simon has been awarded funding via the Walking With The Wounded First Steps program to assist with his education over the next 3 years.