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Inside Business Magazine

Get into WATER SPORTS “ “ Richard Hunt: BLESMA is an awesome organisation that has personally helped me to find myself and given me the confidence to achieve my goals. Through The Great Paddle Round, I want to encourage more BLESMA Members and those with injuries to get into water sports. ‘In April 2014, I will be taking on a challenge to kayak solo around the British Isles – a journey of more than 2,300 miles – to raise money for a charity that has helped me through some difficult times in the past. At 17, I joined the Royal Navy as an Able Seaman in Radar Operation. I enjoyed the active life of the Navy and developed a passion for playing rugby. It was from playing rugby that I first sustained a niggling knee injury. The ligaments in my knee had pulled the knee cap out of place and I was advised surgery to correct it. Unfortunately, this initial operation caused nerve damage known as ‘reflex sympathetic dystrophy’ which caused all the nerves in my leg to be hypersensitive, making the slightest touch cause me major pain and discomfort. I continued to serve with the Royal Navy, with my last posting being with the historical HMS Victory – the Royal Navy’s oldest commissioned war ship at 235 years old, where I worked in the administration department. In the two years between my initial surgery and my discharge from the Navy, I underwent 20 operations to try and correct the damage, but to no avail. Finally, after years of pain and unsuccessful treatments, in 1995, I made the difficult decision to have my leg amputated above the knee. It wasn’t assured that the pain would stop after having the leg amputated, but I could not see any alternative course of action.Thankfully, the amputation was successful in ridding me of the hypersensitive nerves. When I was medically discharged from the Navy I was devastated. I had lost the only career that I had ever wanted to do and, from that moment on, I was lost and had no idea what to do next. I used to stay awake all night and sleep all day just so that I Richard Hunt (centre)


Inside Business Magazine
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