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A Brief History of Me

This is a brief outline of my journey and life experiences bringing me to where I am now:

Hi, my name is Joe Henderson. I am 43 years old and this is an outline of my history.

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November 1976 – I was born with a congenital heart defect which affected the mitral valve, causing blood to be pumped back into the heart.

Over the next 5 years I would be rushed to hospital multiple times as I would stop breathing.

At 5 years, I underwent open heart surgery to repair my valve. This allowed me to live my life with some normality – which I made the most of, playing every sport possible – pushing boundaries on my restrictions and doctor’s expectations.

At 21 years, I underwent my second open heart surgery.

Due to growth and the stress I had put my heart under over the years, my valve was failing again. Surgery with an addition – something to help strengthen the valve.

At 21 years I had badly sprained my ankle at work and 6 months later after countless doctor’s visits. I was told a bone tumour had taken over the talus bone and that their was only a shell left.  1 week later – surgery and 6 months recovery.  Leaving me with 50% movement in that ankle.

At 34 years, I lost my best mate whilst talking to him on the phone and just after him telling me he was going to be a father for the first time.

At 35 years, I was involved in an incident at work which bought to mind, I could have left my sons without a father.

At 36 years, my relationship to the mother of my boys had dissolved.

Fallen into a dependence with alcohol to mask how I was feeling.

I moved from a general duties role in the Police to a training role to allow more time with my boys.

I had gradually fallen into depression and become suicidal.

1 week before turning 37, I had a heart attack and spent a week in hospital. They were unable to give a medical reason why it occurred.

I developed stomach ulcers over a period of time causing hospitalisation on numerous occasions.

At 38 years, I was eventually diagnosed with PTSD/Depression.

At 39 years, I was medically retired from the Police.

After being retired I went through the faze of loss of identity and not knowing who I was anymore.

Throughout my journey I have been very adamant about not taking any forms of medication to give me the ability to learn how and what makes the positive changes within myself to regain my life.

It has taught me the processes in which I live by on a daily basis to allow me to live a happy, fulfilled and connected life.