Double medal haul for hero at Invictus Games
Dave Watson, patient advocate at QEHB Charity and former resident of Fisher House put in some superb performances at this year’s Invictus Games in Toronto, Canada, coming away with a gold and a bronze medal.
Set up by Prince Harry and first hosted in 2014, the Invictus Games is an international, Paralympic style, multi-sport event for wounded, injured and sick service personnel.
Dave, who has worked at QEHB Charity since February 2016, competed in the IF6 Discus and Shot Put events, winning gold in the discus and bronze in the shot put. This is an incredible achievement for Dave, competing in his first Invictus Games after the disappointment of missing out on making the team last year.
Speaking of his time in Canada, Dave said: “It was an amazing experience, the atmosphere and sense of community throughout the games was brilliant. I knew that I had a decent chance of winning a medal but I was over the moon to leave with two.
“It was a great feeling to go over to Canada with my family and represent the UK. I’d waited a long time to make it to a big event such as the Invictus Game and I’d love to do it again. I’ll be working hard to make the team again next time round.”
Dave was supported in Canada by his family, Becky and Josh. The Invictus Games is a family-oriented event and Becky is immensely proud of her husband’s achievements, saying: “Dave is the most passionate and determined person I know, to have dealt with the disappointment of missing out in 2016, put it behind him and train even harder to make the team this year is amazing.
“To come away with two medals including a gold is proof of how hard he has worked. It was so special to be there in Canada supporting him alongside our son Josh.”
Josh, 13, loves telling his friends about Dave’s accomplishments, saying: “He’s really inspiring, all my mates think it’s really cool that he’s competed in the Invictus Games and won two medals.”
The Invictus Games is a brilliant celebration of overcoming adversity, with the word Invictus meaning unconquerable or undefeated in Latin. This description is certainly a suitable way of describing Dave. Dave joined the Army in 2008 and served in the Scots Guards. During a tour of Afghanistan in 2010, Dave stepped on an improvised explosive device and lost both his legs and his right arm.
During his recovery, Dave spent time at Fisher House, the home away from home for military patients and their families at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital Birmingham. Fisher House opened in 2013 and is an 18 bedroom house where the families of service people having treatment at QEHB can stay for free, allowing them to be close to their loved one at the hospital.
Dave’s time at Fisher House inspired him to stay on as a patient advocate at QEHB Charity, where he meets patients who have had similar experiences to him.
Dave said: “I love working at Fisher House, being able to help support service people and their families through their treatment at QEHB is a privilege.
“The support that my family and I received at Fisher House was second to none and I feel honoured to be able to contribute to the brilliant work that happens at Fisher House.”