A VETERAN and dad-of-two who underwent life-changing injuries in Afghanistan is urging people to donate to a “home away from home” for military families this father’s day.
Fisher House supported Dave Watson and his family through recovery from a triple amputation after the 1st Battalion Scots Guards soldier was injured during a routine mission where he had to walk through a stream, passing an improvised explosive device (IED).
While Dave was in hospital, his family were able to stay at Fisher House, Queen Elizabeth Hospital Birmingham (QEHB) charity’s 18-bedroom house, which is a short walk from the hospital.
Dave said: “One of my friends fell behind and I went to help him. While doing so, I stepped on the IED and fell into the water, unable to bring my head above the surface, with lights flashing before my eyes. I lost both legs and my right arm in the blast and was taken back to the UK for treatment.
“I believe that Fisher House is instrumental to both patient and family recovery. It takes away the extra panic of finding somewhere to stay and it’s comforting to know that, if your condition was to take a turn for the worse, your family would be at your bedside in little over five minutes.”
After his accident, Dave didn’t know if he would ever be able to become a father. Then, in 2014, his now-wife Becky announced that she was pregnant.
Now a father of two, his daughter Erin was born on 1 January 2015, joining Dave’s stepson Josh.
He said: “Fatherhood has been the best thing that has ever happened to me. I have both Erin and Josh and I love them both equally. I will do anything to help them. They are my world.”
Since opening its doors under three years ago, Fisher House has provided more than 11,000 nights of accommodation. It is free to use for any military family whose relative is receiving treatment at the hospital, as well as for military outpatients.
Mike Hammond, chief executive of QEHB Charity, said: “Enabling families to stay together whilst one of them is in hospital is really important. Donations to help keep Fisher House going are vital, and I want to thank everyone who had given so far – we couldn’t do it without you.”
Find out more
For more information about Fisher House, visit www.fisherhouseuk.org or call 0121 371 4852.