Defence Medical Services Diving Expedition

Donation to Defence Medical Services Diving Expedition: December 2015

Recently appointed DDMT Distribution Team Member Gordon MacGregor got off to a flying start by completing due diligence on the Defence Medical Services Diving Expedition in record time to ensure six wounded, injured and sick veterans took part in Ex RED SERPENT, a 10 day scuba diving expedition to the southern Red Sea from 29 Nov - 08 Dec 2015 organised by the Defence Medical Services Dive Club.  The flagship sponsor was the Queen Elizabeth Hospital Charitable Fund but each WIS needed to contribute £1,000.  DDMT are proud to have funded the £6,000.  

The whole team were kitted out in DDMT exped shirts and acquired underwater DDMT banners!

DDMT T-shirts and banner

Diving team

Each of the six has a personal story of injury and subsequent journey of rehabilitation. Between them they have overcome amputations, paralysis, loss of limb function, and PTSD, each a shattering proposition in isolation, but often combined to provide an even greater rehabilitation challenge. For some this was the first foray into open water diving, for others this sport has proven to be a vital link back to life pre injury and participation will aid them further along their road to recovery. 

From a rehabilitation perspective, diving offers this and so much more. The tangible benefits of functional utilisation of injured limbs, exercising to promote physical fitness, and building the coordination to master new skills are apparent to most.  However, for many injured military personnel, it is the personal benefits that make the lasting impact. Facing challenges to once again test their courage, socialising and interacting within a military environment, and being pushed to realise potential beyond their perceived limits may go unnoticed to the observer, but are just as vital to the recovery process    

The expedition consisted of 6 WIS Personnel supported by serving DMS participants, and accompanied by the requisite instructional dive staff. It is arguable that the dive vessel could moonlight as a floating Field Hospital with the range of supporting staff aboard; from a GP to Trauma Nurses and a Plastic Surgeon to a Physiotherapist. Indeed, although amusing to note, the diversity of the staff on the nominal roll is no coincidence. Each member of the team has been employed within the Royal Centre of Defence Medicine (RCDM) in Birmingham and has therefore treated and cared for multiple British military casualties in their professional capacity.