Hari’s life changed in an instant when he was caught in a bomb blast in Afghanistan. Now, after treatment from Combat Stress, he’s aiming to become the first above-knee double amputee to summit Mount Everest.
“I grew up in Nepal and have wanted to climb Mount Everest all my life. As a child, it was too expensive; as a Gurkha, there wasn’t the time; but now, after what I’ve been through, it’s time to conquer my dream.
“My physical and mental injuries have meant I’ve had to adapt my life but I’ve realised that nothing is impossible – you just need to find a different way of doing it.”
Hari joined the Gurkhas aged 20 and his tours took him around the world. He was a versatile, junior non-commissioned officer with a very bright future in the British Army. It was in Afghanistan that everything changed.
“It was 2010 and I was 31. I was on patrol and something went bang – it was an improvised explosive device (IED). My life changed instantly.”
Hari lost both legs above the knee and sustained multiple injuries. Four years later, he was discharged from the Army.
“It was after I left the military that my mental health problems began. I used to get angry very quickly and I started to use alcohol to try to control my emotions and the pain. I really didn’t want to admit that I needed help – I was used to be being so strong – but when a friend said ‘you need help’, I found the courage to approach Combat Stress.”
Hari was diagnosed with PTSD and attended the charity’s six-week PTSD Intensive Treatment Programme.
“Coming to Combat Stress was so helpful. I learnt so much and I still use lots of the skills today, especially meditation, grounding and breathing techniques.”
“My life changed in a millisecond and I didn’t know what to do. It was very hard but I made myself try some sports. I found that, actually, everything was possible and that gave me the confidence to try more things.”
Since his injury, Hari has learnt to skydive and play golf, re-learned alpine skiing, rock climbing and kayaking, run a biathlon, won a gold medal for archery and a bronze medal in wheelchair table tennis, and become an avid cyclist. He’s also joined a wheelchair rugby team and a basketball team.
Hari will attempt to climb Mount Everest in 2019 with a team that includes another Gurkha veteran and a former US Marine.
To keep track of Hari’s Everest challenge, visit conqueringdreams.org
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