Ben Gallagher: From being shot on active duty, to a Paralympic dream

Jan 30, 09:00 PM

Ben Gallagher is a remarkable individual. After serving in the British Army for over 16 years, his life was turned upside down in 2019 when he was shot numerous times on active duty.

Ben would sustain blast and fragmentation injuries to his upper torso and arms as a result of that incident – and without a doubt his body armour saved his life.

What followed was a number of operations and extensive surgery to reconstruct his left arm, while he now also has surgical injuries to both legs.

But this was all just the beginning of an immense battle.

What happened to Ben was utterly traumatic and, along with a long period of rehabilitation, he felt lost, isolated, unable to come to terms with what happened and he would have suicidal thoughts. Subsequently he would also be diagnosed with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.

Ben’s journey – and turnaround since then – has been remarkable – and sport has played a key part in it. He can now say he’s represented his country at the 2023 Invictus Games – winning gold in the Men’s IR6 4-minute endurance row and bronze in the men’s IRB3 crit cycle race.

And another major achievement could be on the horizon – the Paris 2024 Paralympics.

Ben’s journey in rowing, which began with simply using rowing machines for exercise has developed into something so much more.

He has raced at the British Rowing Indoor Championships and he is now classified with British Rowing – on the GB Para-Rowing World Class and Paralympic Academy Programme with reaching those Paris 2024 Games very much the aim.

This is just a snapshot of what Ben has achieved, as you’ll hear in this podcast there has been so much else along the way and he is also an ambassador for our charity partners The Mintridge Foundation.

Quite simply you’ll be hard pushed to find someone with a more inspiring message than this army veteran.


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Image: With thanks to Ben Gallagher

Additional thanks to The Mintridge Foundation for helping to organise this interview

Music: Otis McDonald