A former Melton soldier who had to give up work to become a full-time carer for his wife has been talking about how the Royal British Legion’s Poppy Appeal has come to the aid of his family.
Chris Platts (33) served in the army for almost six years until 2007, including a tour of Iraq, before leaving to become a commercial HGV driver.
But his world was turned upside down five years ago when wife Lucy suffered a mini stroke which left her with limited mobility and led to complications with her heart which means she now has to take beta blockers to stabilise her condition.
Chris became her full-time carer, as well as having the responsibility of looking after their three young children - Ruby (7), Harry (5) and four-year-old Phoebe.
Their spirits were raised when he went to a carers support group meeting in Melton in April last year, when he was told the legion might be able to help with Lucy’s mobility and provide the family with some much needed respite from the challenges of daily life.
Chris, who attended Melton’s Remembrance Sunday parade at the weekend, said: “I wasn’t aware that I was eligible for any help from the legion, especially as it was my wife who needed the main support rather than myself. “However, I was assured once I met with representatives from the legion that due to my service my whole family would be eligible for support.
“We were offered a Poppy Break at Center Parcs last November, which allowed us to spend quality time as a family, with even the grandparents coming along. It was just great to step into a relaxed and enjoyable environment, especially as we hadn’t been able to go on holiday for some years.”
Chris, who was a private in the Royal Logistic Corps after being inspired to join up by his uncle Mick who also served with the forces, was part of Operation Telic 4 in Iraq, and he also served in Canada.
He never believed his service would qualify his family for the assistance they got from the legion last year and then, in January this year, he was overjoyed when the charity provided Lucy with a mobility scooter to improve her accessibility and ensure she regained some independence.
He added: “We as a family are very grateful for what we have received over the past year from the legion.
“We are so happy with the service, understanding and support we received from all those involved and I would highly recommend others seek out help.”