Diver moves closer to becoming first double amputee PADI Instructor
PADI Ambassadiver Chris Middleton has taken another step forward in his goal to become the first double amputee PADI Instructor.
Chris, whose PADI Divemaster membership was confirmed just before we went to press, now joins the ranks of PADI Professionals world-wide; this is no mean feat, considering Chris lost his left leg above the knee, and the right one below it, in a roadside bombing in Helmand in 2011. Besides overcoming these physical injuries - which, in themselves, turn dive skills which may be readily achievable for other candidates, into monumental challenges - Chris has also used his diving experiences as an ally in battling Post Traumatic Stress, a key element in the work of the Deptherapy Foundation, for whom Chris is a leading Ambassador.
Dr Richard Cullen, of Deptherapy, said: "Chris is an amazing young man. He is one of the charity's ambassadors and when we created the new Deptherapy and Deptherapy Education charity, he became a trustee. He does a tremendous amount of work for the charity in recruiting other injured troops on to our programme, talking to the students about his experiences and joining them in the pool to help them practice."
Deptherapy has allowed Chris to realise his potential that he could dive just as well as he would have done had he not suffered those service injuries. For those not familiar with the sterling work conducted by Deptherapy, they run specially adapted scuba diving programmes for seriously injured UK armed service personnel. The programme has many proven benefits for the troops, now attracting attention from those in academic research, and Deptherapy is driving further research in the UK and USA into the rehabilitative properties of scuba diving for the severely wounded.
Deptherapy programmes use the PADI system to provide clear goals that are demonstrably equal to those achieved by all divers holding the certification, are especially beneficial to those suffering Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, and are supported by senior doctors having provided startling results. For more information about the work of Deptherapy and Deptherapy Education visit www.deptherapy.co.uk
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