A military hero from Henlow who lost both his legs and an arm during an explosion has been chosen to take part in the Invictus Games 2020.
Rifleman Jack Otter suffered life-changing injuries in 2009 when a Taliban bomb detonated while he was on patrol in Helmand Province.
Aged just 21, he endured a turbulent rehabilitation journey, facing multiple infections, and over 30 operations and other complications - but Jack never gave up.
Now, 10 years on, it has been announced that Jack is part of the 65-strong team of wounded, injured and sick military personnel and veterans selected to represent Team UK in The Hague.
Jack said: “ I went through some severe physical and emotional low points. I put on weight, was unhealthy and didn’t want to accept that I also had some mental health issues.
“I used to think that if I could walk again that I’d automatically feel better about myself, but I realised in recent years that it’s not so straightforward.”
Inspired by watching the Invictus Games in 2018, Jack decided to push himself to apply for the 2020 event, although not before another setback.
He said: “The bright light of hope shone. I was in the best place I’ve been since being injured; getting fit, losing weight and setting goals revolving around the Invictus Games. And then I had a heart attack. This was a big blow, but despite this I’m now back on track and have kept those same goals.
“Representing Team UK will bring to life my key goal. To make those that have helped me over the years feel proud of me and see that I’m doing well. I also want to feel proud of myself.”
Jack is due to take part in athletics and rowing and will continue to train from now until May in various locations across the country as part of the Help for Heroes’ extensive ‘Sports Recovery’ programme.
Julian North, recovery manager east, said: “The 65 men and women selected to represent Team UK will not only gain a personal recovery benefit but they will, hopefully, inspire others suffering with life-changing injuries or illnesses that anything is possible.”