Stephen Williams, former Warrant Officer in the Royal Logistic Corps and father of Team BRIT driver, Tony Williams, speaks about the team's role in Tony's remarkable recovery.
Tony is a shining example of what the human body can endure and how the human spirit can rise from the ashes of despair.
After he was hurt in Afghanistan, consultants had told him his injuries meant he would be unlikely to get out of his wheelchair, he may have a permanent colostomy bag fitted and a brain injury from a grenade attack. Despite this, from day one he wanted to achieve the impossible. Constantly suffering from nerve pain, he set about to prove surgeons wrong.
After three months on a spinal bed he set about his recovery. He pestered to have his colostomy bag reversed, which was successful. Then he started to get up from his bed to a wheelchair and after seven months of physiotherapy he was allowed to go home.
The next three years he spent travelling to Headley Court for more rehabilitation. He was determined to walk again, which he achieved with the support of a splint brace. He was also told that he had less than a 10% chance of being able to father children. This is another hurdle he overcame when he met his girlfriend Sharon and now I have two lovely granddaughters, to whom he is a very proud dad.
Piece by piece Tony was getting his life back, but there was something still missing. This is where Team BRIT came to the fore. Tony has always been competitive and wanting excitement in his life. Tony has an outgoing personality and loves to be involved and Team BRIT was exactly what he needed at this stage of his recovery. Since being part of the team, I see my son more like he was before he was injured. I see that cheeky smile back on his face, I see the adrenaline pumping when he is about to race in a Team BRIT car. I see my lad with excitement back on his face. Mentally it has helped him to alleviate the mental torture he has endured, and now he is smiling again.
The family is thrilled and excited to see Tony’s posts and seeing him on television, we are all proud of him and his achievements. Tony will always have to endure physical pain from nerve damage and he will undoubtedly have flashbacks and down days through mental stress, however the future is looking brighter for Tony than it has ever been and I thank Team BRIT in helping with that process. Tony’s 3-year-old daughter Holly says “My dad’s a racing driver” she sees him as a hero rather than a victim.