Deptherapy, the charity that seeks to rehabilitate UK Armed Service personnel who have suffered life changing mental and physical challenges, and Crowthorne’s PADI 5* dive centre Divecrew, are teaming up to grant a scuba diver his last wish this Christmas.
When Colin Clements and his friend Daphne Pearson walked into Crowthorne-based PADI dive centre Divecrew, no one expected what was to happen next.
Colin, 60, from Woodley, Berkshire, is suffering from an aggressive form of brain cancer that will take his life in the near future. As a committed scuba diver, now forced to give up his much-loved hobby, Colin had brought all his personal dive equipment with him to donate to the charity Deptherapy.
Colin had heard through a friend about Deptherapy, a scuba diving charity that seeks to rehabilitate UK Armed Services’ veterans who have suffered life changing mental and/or physical challenges.
When contacting Colin to offer his thanks for this brave and selfless gesture, Richard Cullen, Deptherapy Chairman, was made aware that Colin had a dying wish to undertake one last dive. Richard, and Martin Weddell, owner of Divecrew, set about a plan to grant Colin’s last wish.
With a swimming pool already booked for scuba diving training this Sunday, Martin was able to re-arrange the diving schedule so the pool can be available for this very special dive.
Colin’s last dive is scheduled to take place on Sunday 17 December, at Eagle House School, Sandhurst. The dive is currently planned to be a surprise for Colin. Two of the Instructor team from Deptherapy, who are world leaders in adaptive scuba diving teaching, will be in the pool to assist Colin, alongside two Army veterans from the Deptherapy programme, who have offered to accompany Colin on his dive:
– Gary Green, formerly of the Rifles, was blinded in the right eye by an IED in Afghanistan and suffers from acute PTSD. Gary is an Ambassador for Deptherapy, a Trustee of the charity, and a PADI AmbassaDiver.
– Chris Ganley, also of the Rifles, served two tours in Afghanistan. On returning home from his second tour he suffered a devastating motorcycle accident that resulted in the amputation of his left arm above the elbow. He suffered devastating injuries, including bleeds on the brain.
For Chris, the dive will be particularly poignant, as he will be wearing Colin’s donated buoyancy control device (BCD). A BCD was the one piece of dive equipment that Chris was missing to enable him to continue diving.
The remaining pieces of Colin’s dive kit will be donated to other divers on the Deptherapy programme.
When he was informed of Colin’s donation, Richard Cullen, a Founder and Chairman of Deptherapy, wrote a very touching message to him that included these words:
“I am very sad that your life is ebbing away but through your donation you have helped some brave young men rebuild theirs. A ‘Thank you’ alone, seems a very empty and inadequate word given the circumstances.”
Lead image: Deptherapy programme members Andy Searle and Chris Ganley at Roots Red Sea in May 2017. Photo – Dmitry Knyazev