Inspirational Invictus Games hero

108. Dave Henson (Hampshire)

The Captain of the British Armed Forces Team at the Invictus Games has inspired hundreds of injured servicemen and women to get involved in sport.

The Prime Minister met Dave at The Invictus Games this morning to congratulate him on his Point of Light, before being joined by HRH Prince Harry who created the Games.

Dave Henson MBE is a 29 year old retired Captain from Southampton who lost both his legs in Afghanistan. Through his work as Veterans Representative on the Advisory Board for the Royal British Legion Centre for Blast Injury Studies at Imperial College, Dave is playing a key role in helping people across the world recover from blast injuries.  

Dave was injured in 2011 when an IED device exploded whilst he was serving in Afghanistan. As soon as his wounds would allow, Dave started to swim and just ten months to the day since he was injured he received his first pair of “running legs” and started learning to run again. Help for Heroes has helped in the training and selection of the British Armed Forces team for the Invictus Games.

Dave has used his own experiences to encourage others to use sport as rehabilitation and has been heavily involved in the creating and planning of the Invictus Games. Dave also led the British Armed Forces team at the Warrior Games in Colorado, an annual event for wounded or ill service personnel and veterans, where he won two gold medals in the pool and inspired other injured service personnel to take up sport.

Drawing inspiration from his role as mentor and from his own recovery, Dave is about to complete an MSc in Biomedical Engineering at Imperial College London focussing research on rehabilitative solutions for through knee amputees, with particular focus on regaining muscular control of prosthetic limbs. 

Prime Minister David Cameron said:

“Dave embodies the very best characteristics of our military heroes. His determination, spirit and dedication in the face of huge odds has inspired injured servicemen and women from across the UK to believe that they can achieve their sporting dreams. The Invictus Games is a fantastic moment to recognise Dave’s service by making him the UK’s 108th Point of Light”.

Dave said:

“I try and live my life as if I’ve had a second chance. I’m pleased to be honoured with a Point of Light Award and delighted to be here captaining the British Invictus team. If I can inspire others that’s brilliant”.

The daily Points of Light award recognises outstanding individual volunteers - people who are making a change in their community.

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