Originally from Pembury in Kent, Nathan and his family moved to Whitburn in the north east of England when Nathan was a young boy. At the age of 16, Nathan decided to join the Army as an Infantry Soldier. After completing his training as a boy soldier, he joined the 1st Battalion the Green Howards. He explains, “During this time, I served throughout the world, working with the Intelligence section. It was here that I was given the opportunity to train as a photographer.”
Nathan left the Army after 16 years and went on to attend the University of Sunderland where he gained a degree in Design, and a PGCE (Post Graduate Certificate in Education). “I left the north east with my family and headed to Kent where I started a career in teaching Design and Media, allowing my passion for photography to blossom. However, my teaching career came to an abrupt halt.”
Nathan suffered a brain haemorrhage in 2002.
After extensive rehabilitation, he returned to the profession he loved. He continues, “They say lightening always strikes twice, and in 2010 I had a reoccurring bleed, which in turn left me registered disabled.”
Nathan was also diagnosed with PTSD (Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder).
Shortly after this, Nathan came to live at Care for Veterans. He says, “with the help of a wide range of healthcare professionals and Care for Veterans, my life is a lot brighter and I continue to use my skills as a photographer, which gives me a great deal of pleasure.”
Since he became unwell, Nathan has overcome many challenges, such as learning to walk again independently, managing regular and debilitating fits which have now become less frequent, and re-learning old skills such as photography and painting.
Whilst living at Care for Veterans, Nathan overcame many obstacles; he worked with in-house Occupational Therapists to re-learn everyday skills, including multi-tasking; he worked on managing his anxieties when in crowded places, like shopping centres and supermarkets; and he got back into his photography and artwork – his wonderful photographer has been used in fundraising and marketing materials at Care for Veterans, and he has also created some beautiful, hand-painted murals on the walls to brighten up the Day Room.
Nathan’s progress had improved so much, that in 2016, he left Care for Veterans to go and live back up north with his family.
We are thrilled to say that Nathan achieved his ultimate goal of community living, employment and living an active life, without fear or anxiety. He returned to his family, getting married in 2020 and now teaches Design Technology at a private school in Newcastle.