The full Story
While serving in the Armed Forces, Jamie was training to be a pilot when his engine caught fire during a training flight. With his cock-pit on fire and his plane rapidly descending towards the ground, he knew that saving his own life required calmness of thought, swiftness of action, incredible bravery and a lot of luck. With resolute determination and following over 7 years of major surgeries to recover from his life-changing injuries, he has successfully been able to turn his life around and make a very strong recovery.
Knowing that certain death awaited him Jamie had to act. It was quite an extraordinary moment of calmness that allowed the clarity of thought to conjure up the only possible escape under the circumstances. Jamie freed himself from the cock-pit and clambered to the wing where he stood until the aircraft was only fifteen feet from the ground, with the plane descending rapidly. At that point he jumped. The plane continued, before crashing and exploding only sixty feet away from where he had jumped. With his previously heightened physical state and adrenaline diminishing, the pain hit him with unimaginable force. They say that fortune favours the brave and Jamie certainly reaped this as he was saved by the rapid response from the US emergency services. A near-by American citizen was also able to reassure a now critically injured Jamie who lay desperately traumatised on the ground. Without a rapid medical response there was undoubtedly no chance of Jamie surviving whatsoever.
Jamie sustained a total of 60 percent 3rd degree burns to his body and remained in intensive care for 6 months in America in an induced-coma and, following his repatriation, was hospitalised for a further 18 months in the UK. As a result of his extreme burns and his life hanging in the balance, he endured renal failure, kidney dialysis, as well as pneumonia and septicaemia.
Jamie has undergone over 60 operations since the incident - an accident which doctors initially believed left him with only a 5% chance of survival. Through extraordinary mental strength and determination Jamie has gone a long way to re-building his life. The manner in which he has approached life since the accident is a shining example of dealing with adversity and managing change.
He has worked extraordinarily to rebuild his life – taking on several major challenges in support of Help for Heroes, including the London Marathon, climbing Mount Kilimanjaro and the gruelling Race Across America. His story and incredible strength of character are an inspiration to all audiences who hear him speak. By speaking to people about his life, the accident and his horrendous fight back to normality Jamie aims to inspire confidence and energy in any audience.