Injured Worthing airman in run challenge to thank charity

A YOUNG Worthing airman who was injured in an accident is preparing for a charity challenge now he is back on his feet.

RAF aircraft avionics engineer Jake Oakley
RAF aircraft avionics engineer Jake Oakley

Jake Oakley was left in a wheelchair following a serious motorcycle accident in 2013 but Help for Heroes helped with his recovery over many months.

Now, the 22-year-old wants to thank them by running the Worthing 10K in June next year to raise money for the charity.

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Jake said: “The programmes they put on really helped me mentally as well as physically. So, to show my gratitude, I am trying to fundraise for them by completing the upcoming Worthing 10K.

“This will be a massive milestone for me, as although I have returned to my role in the armed forces, a year ago I would have struggled to walk that distance, let alone run it.”

The aircraft avionics engineer was 19 and serving in the RAF when he was injured and was helped in his recovery at Headley Court, the Defence Medical Rehabilitation Centre.

Jake explained: “I was a mechanic on the Chinook helicopters two years ago when I was involved in a serious motorcycle accident.

“This happened when I was travelling back from some volunteer work with the local air cadet squadron. Before this, I was quite heavily involved in volunteering with the cadets and still am now.

“I broke my pelvis, which left me using a wheelchair and crutches for several months, and suffered some psychological injuries. With the nature of my injuries, I couldn’t return to my work in the services for over 18 months.

“While I was on sick leave, however, I was admitted as a patient at Headley Court in Surrey. While I was there, Help for Heroes would take patients out on excursions to improve mental well being and sports therapy to help ease the physical injuries.”

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