5-Year-Old Girl's Response To Veteran Brought People To Tears.
Simon Brown had no idea what to think when he met little Tempy. He understood that his disfigured face isn't exactly pretty to look at, and often times children would have unpredictable reactions to him. Simon knew that this time was different as soon as he heard Tempy speak. The impact the little girl would have on him was more than she could even understand.
Simon was previously in the British Armed Forces, and served as a Royal Engineer for thirteen years. In December of 2006, after spending seven months in Iraq, a transport carrying six of his comrades broke down and they were attacked. Simon rushed to their aid and was able to save them. Unfortunately, as Simon was leaving, he was almost killed.
He Was Shot
Simon had been shot by a sniper. The bullet entered through his left cheek and exited through his right one. The bullet destroyed both of Simon's cheekbones, severely damaged his right eye and shattered his left one. “Thank God I didn’t pass out. My palate had collapsed and I couldn’t breathe. I put my thumb in my mouth to hold it up and keep my airway open," he remembers. Suffocating was a real danger for Simon.
A New Life To Live
sima_kotecha / Twitter
Simon was immediately brought to the nearby Basra Palace for an emergency tracheotomy. Soon after, he was airlifted to his base where he was put into a coma and received surgery. The following day he was flown to Britain. In order to rebuild his face, Simon would need more operations, but for now Simon was functionally blind. His life had been flipped upside down and he had no clue how to handle his new life.
A Long Road Ahead Of Him
The London Economic
Simon spent many, many hours in the Selly Oak Hospital receiving treatment and rehabilitation. Using titanium, doctors were able to reconstruct Simon's nose and cheekbones. He was able to have his jaw completely remolded and he was fitted for a prosthetic eye. But Simon still needed to learn how to live being blind. Luckily, he wasn't alone.
With A Little Help
Blind Veterans UK
Simon was able to get help from Help for Heroes and Blind Veterans UK, which are charities dedicated to assisting veterans return to their normal life. Thanks to their practical, emotional, and financial support, Simon was able to learn how to live on his own and adjust to his new lifestyle. Unfortunately, Simon struggles with maintaining his self-confidence every single day.
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