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"The impact the Fund has had on my life is unreal"

Medical discharge from the RAF changed SAC(T) Andy Graham's life forever – the back injury which ended his military career left him in constant pain and led to mental health issues.

Couples hands

But thanks to two grants from the RAF Benevolent Fund he now has an outlet to focus on, with his woodworking hobby, and a comfortable night’s sleep in the form of a specialist profiling bed.

Andy, who lives in Alloa with his wife and two sons, described the affect his injury had on his life.

He said: "My injury has totally changed who I am as a person in my day to day life. It affects everything I do from getting out of bed in the morning to getting dressed. After my medical discharge I started to struggle a lot with my mental health with depression and low self esteem. It all stemmed from not working and not being the person I used to be.

"The grant from the RAF Benevolent Fund has made my life amazing. I have now got a workshop in my back garden which is fully equipped with woodworking tools and has now given me that small escape. It is my own space where I can shut the door on the world."

Two years later Andy found he was struggling to sleep as his condition meant he is in constant pain coupled with lymphedema which means his legs swell uncomfortably during the night.

Andy said: "The impact it has had on my life is unreal. Before I got the bed, I was spending most of my time sleeping downstairs in the recliner chair. Distance built up between my wife and I and we started to lose that closeness. The pain is just constant and it was making the pain a lot worse.

"The RAF Benevolent Fund funded a new bed I would never have been able to afford in my current situation. Every night I can sleep next to my wife! The Fund did not scrimp on the specification for the bed – it was way beyond my expectations.

"One of my biggest problems was I was constantly falling asleep in the day because I was not getting enough sleep at night. I am a lot happier in myself. It has made a massive difference to my family, full stop. I am able to spend time with my kids and give them my full attention instead of struggling to stay awake."

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