Jessica S

Jessica's Journey To Base Camp

Fundraising for Flint House Police Rehabilitation
raised of £5,000 target
by 129 supporters
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We help serving and retired police officers to heal thanks to your fundraising.


Thank you for visiting my page, You can follow my progress on Instagram: jessicas_journey_to_basecamp 

This is My Story.....

In July 2018 I decided to push myself out of my comfort zone and I booked to Trek to Everest Base Camp, I was due to go in April 2019.

In August 2018 I started to develop sciatic pain in my right leg, by the start of September I was unable to sit or drive without being in excruciating pain; I was unable to work and had to report sick.

Despite several Drs appointments, numerous drugs and private physical therapy the pain just got worse. On the 2nd October 2018 I was admitted to Hospital for 8 Days, during my stay I had an MRI which showed a prolapse to my L5-S1 (lower spine - see image!)

Drs tried a caudal epidural initially, but after 6 weeks it had completely failed and on the 23rd November I was advised that surgery was the next option.

It was at this point I gave up my goal of going to Everest and I was forced to cancel my trip. The following months were extremely hard and I spent most of the time taking a lot of drugs to try and control the pain, I didn't know where my days and nights started or ended for months. I even ended up being admitted to hospital the week before Christmas in uncontrollable pain, where they administered another epidural to help.

On the 23rd January 2019 I underwent surgery where I had a microdiscectomy to remove the part of my disc that was sat directly on top of my sciatic nerve. I have never felt such relief when I woke up to find the nerve pain I had experienced every minute of every day for the previous 6 months had disappeared.

Prior to this surgery I was a healthy, active person. I played Netball at a local regional level, a sport that I had loved for 25 years and which I dedicated a lot of time to; including using my annual leave to enable me to play or having very little sleep to travel and play after a night shift.

I am a Front Line Police Officer and I have worked for Wiltshire Police for 13 years now. I love my role, being the first person to respond to 999 calls and to help others in their time of need. I have always been passionate about this role and what it represents and I haven't looked to seek any other roles as I like the unpredictable and spontaneous nature of the job.

The weeks after the surgery were some of the toughest mentally and physically, not only did I have to learn to move my body again; but I went through an excruciating drug withdrawal which no one warns you about! I returned to work in March, just 6 weeks after my surgery; on restricted and reduced hours and I started the long process of rehabilitation and recovery.

Being stuck in an office to start with had it's own physical and mental challenges to overcome. After the surgery it took a few months for me to really accept the changes to my life, some of which were temporary (two stone weight gain) and some of which were permanent; such as giving up the sport I love.

I had a mental breakdown in the June and sought help from my GP about how I was feeling and the impact of the whole experience, on my mind and body.

One of the big turning points in my recovery was my visit to The Police Rehabilitation Centre in Goring - Flint House. It was here that with the help of my Physio Anna and the other members of staff I was able to take time out to realise that I had been through major surgery and that I could not expect to heal over night.

Flint House gave me the confidence, knowledge and understanding in order to come to terms with what had happened to me, it also gave me a plan and a way forward which was realistic for the role that I do. I didn't need to just recover like the average person, I needed to be able to be confident and strong enough to go back to wearing body armour and dealing with the potentially violent and unpredictable situations that Police Officers face daily.

I successfully returned to front line duties on the 8th November, 431 days after my last shift before going sick.

On the One Year Anniversary of my surgery I rebooked to go to EBC in November 2020......then COVID-19 hit us all!! Despite all my efforts and some incredible donations and support for my training last year it just wasn't meant to. The trip was postponed and postponed again and I have now booked flights for March 2022........fingers crossed this is it!!!!

I decided last year whilst rebooking the trip that I wanted to give back to those that had helped me and to make this Trek have even more meaning!! That is why I have chosen this time to do the Trek, but to raise money at the same time for Flint House.

Flint House is an amazing facility for Police Officers and having attended not only for their physical rehabilitation but for their mental health and wellbeing programme I cannot stress to other Police Officers how important it is to subscribe to Flint House, knowing this service is available is worth every penny of the small monthly contribution; which is a voluntary not compulsory subscription.

The average stay for an Officer for 2 weeks is over £2000!! Flint House has been supporting Officers for 130 Years and it relies on it's charitable status, donations and officers subscriptions; in order to keep providing what is a vital back up for Police Officers up and down the country.

Thank you for taking the time to read my story, any donation big or small will make a massive difference and will give me the added boost and accountability to make this Trek a success.

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About the charity

Flint House is a charity funded by donations from those in the police service and their families. It is with these generous donations that we help and heal over 3,000 serving and retired police officers each year, providing physical rehabilitation and mental health support.

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