ALIVE TO DRIVE – TONY WILLIAMS
After sustaining life changing injuries during his time serving in the army, Tony is now a racing driver for Team BRIT.
Tony Williams, 33, joined the Army in 2003 as a Registered General Nurse. He was deployed to Afghanistan with the Royal Army Nursing Corp where he was a medic for over 120 armed servicemen.
Alongside his role as a medic, Tony also had to patrol with his colleagues. It was during a patrol Tony was first Injured. He was hit by a hand grenade. Having cheated death, he was back to his duties in no time.
A few weeks later Tony ran to the aid of a colleague after being attacked by enemy fire. Tony was shot through the shoulder. Having been treated at the scene, he then returned to the battlefield to attend to other casualties.
As he was attending to other wounded soldiers, Tony was shot by more bullets leaving him critically injured.
Tony was only 26 at the time of the incident and doctors were unsure if he’d ever walk again.
The devastating effects of the injuries left Tony with the chance of being paralysed and less than 5% chance of ever having children.
Tony added, “It was a difficult time for me, I just wanted to recover. Looking back, I’m so happy that thanks to the help of my comrades, I survived the ordeal and I am alive today.”
After spending months in a hospital bed and months using a wheelchair and a Zimmer frame, doctors were astonished to see Tony walking again three years after the incident. Although Tony made a great recovery, he still suffers from incomplete paraplegia, a mild brain injury and drop foot syndrome on his left leg.
Tony later beat all odds to become a father to two daughters, Holly and Ellena, aged 2 and 3.
After becoming a father, Tony decided he wanted to be more than just an injured soldier. He said, “I wanted to redefine myself when my two daughters were born. They were the catalyst for me to be more than just an injured veteran.
“I joined KartForce, a karting team for injured soldiers, and they gave me the opportunity to do what I aspired to do. I fell in love with the sport, it had such a positive effect on my mental health.
“After a few races I was asked by Dave Player to join Team BRIT, a racing team for disabled veterans who want to be the first all-disabled race team to compete at Le Mans. I obviously jumped at the chance.”
Tony is now racing in Europe’s leading endurance championship, the Fun Cup Championship, at various tracks across the UK. He added, “Its great, I don’t feel disabled when I’m behind the steering wheel of our race car. I’m the same as the next person.
“The team has developed world leading hand controls that me and my teammate, who is a double amputee, use to help us race.
“Racing with Team BRIT has helped me combat PTSD and become a more confident person after my injuries.
“I hope to inspire injured veterans to get into motorsport. Just because you’ve sustained injuries on the battlefield doesn’t mean you must stop doing the things you love. Motorsport is like a therapy that you just can’t get enough of!”
You can follow Tony’s progress on his social media sites –
Facebook – Tony Racing
Twitter - @TonyRacingUK
Instagram - @TonyRacingUK
Or visit Tony’s website at www.TonyRacing.co.uk or email him on firstname.lastname@example.org
Further information on Team BRIT can be found at www.teamBRIT.co.uk.