Officer Medically Discharged Due To Chronic Fatigue Syndrome
A former RAF Personnel Officer, who was medically discharged from the forces earlier this year, is determined to prove he can “still win” as he takes part in the Invictus Games trials in Sheffield.
Antony Morris, from Stone in Staffordshire, was medically discharged from his role as a Squadron Leader with the RAF in January 2019. This took place six years after he suffered a multiple fracture of his humerus on a military riot control training exercise in 2013. He was treated immediately for the fracture and underwent intensive rehabilitation. However, Antony then went on to suffer from a frozen shoulder and develop Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS).
Antony’s CFS developed initially with unexplained fatigue and headaches which prevented him fully engaging with his rehabilitation, and ultimately limited his ability to undertake his duties. The condition limits Antony’s ability to function properly and leaves him in frequent pain and even modest exertion, most people would take for granted, can cause significant fatigue lasting for days. He has been out of work since his discharge and is unable to undertake a large number of roles despite having numerous qualifications.
However, Antony refuses to let the condition “define” him and has taken a huge step forward in his recovery by signing up to take part in this year’s trials of the Invictus Games.
Following his discharge from the RAF in January, Antony instructed specialist military experts at national law firm Irwin Mitchell to help investigate the incident which caused his injuries and to seek support for his rehabilitation and recovery. His expert legal team has since secured an admission of liability from the Ministry of Defence regarding his injury in 2013.
Expert Opinion“Antony is such a positive man who was RAF to the core. The RAF was his life and his ambition from a young age. He has lost this career as a result of his injury and his sense of being that came with it.
He was devastated following his accident and subsequent medical discharge as he was devoted to his team and to providing for his family, but instead of focusing on the negatives, he has bravely decided to put himself forward to compete in the Invictus Games trials.
We are helping to support his rehabilitation and recovery from his injuries and I am so proud of how far Antony has come since leaving the RAF, as I know he struggles a lot with his CFS on a daily basis. I will be looking forward to hearing how his trials go and fingers crossed he makes the team.”
Alexander Davenport - Associate Solicitor
Antony, 42, is married to Heather and is a father to two young daughters.
He is currently taking part in the Invictus Games trials in Sheffield where he is competing alongside other wounded, injured or sick personnel from the forces. Over 470 competitors are scheduled to take part in up to nine sports – archery, athletics, cycling, indoor rowing, power lifting, sitting volleyball, swimming, wheelchair basketball and wheelchair rugby – with Antony doing power lifting and indoor rowing.
Last year, Antony’s brother, who has also suffered life changing injuries whilst in the forces, applied for the Invictus Games and Antony supported him throughout his training and saw the benefits it had on his mood and mental health.
Antony said: “It is impossible to describe how it feels to lose the career I loved and the opportunities I will never have again.
“Not a single day passes without feeling the effects of my condition at some point. One of the worst aspects is that there is no known cure, only careful management of my symptoms is possible, and even then there are always consequences if I do too much.
“The hardest impact has been on my family, having to put up with my mood swings.
“The decision to take part in the Invictus Games was a huge step for me. I originally registered an interest in the 2018 games, but I was too unwell due to my discharge process. I then encouraged my brother, who suffers from Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), to apply and he was selected to compete in Sydney.
“I’ve seen what taking part has done for my brother’s morale, health and wellbeing. Since my discharge, I’ve been quite lonely; my family are amazing and offer me great support, but I still miss my colleagues and the camaraderie.
“The Invictus Games will enable me to get back into an environment of banter, hugs, tears and support from others who know exactly how I feel. I already feel motivated and my mood has lifted so I hope it continues.
“I also want to prove to myself and my family that I can still ‘win’ – not medals, but just the achievement of participating and making them proud of me again.
“I refuse to be defined by my illness.”
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