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Shannon discharged from the Army in 2006. After struggling in civilian life for some time, the walls came crashing down in Christmas 2009. By mid-2010 Shannon was unemployed and in his words, unemployable.

He lodged a claim with DVA and still receives a regular payment under MRCA.

In 2013 Shannon and his wife lost their second child and in December 2013 Shannon’s left lung collapsed. After rigorous testing, medical staff found he had an aneurysm in his aortic heart valve.

After two open heart surgeries in three weeks, Shannon felt he was in a bad place. Although his memory is vague, one of the nurses during this time told him about RSL DefenceCare.

With limited family support nearby, Shannon’s health problems were difficult for both his wife, who was eight months pregnant, and their five-year-old son. Four weeks after Shannon’s second heart operation, his wife gave birth to their new baby.

Shannon could not walk very far, let alone drive to visit his wife and new baby in hospital. This is when Shannon contacted RSL DefenceCare and the organisation provided taxi vouchers so he and his son could visit his wife and new baby.

After Shannon recovered from his surgeries, he had to undergo another two operations four months later. He lost the top of his lung and once again was unable to drive while recovering.

Unfortunately, their situation was made more difficult by the fact that their five-year-old son had medical complications of his own and Shannon’s wife’s ability to drive to all their appointments was limited while she cared for a new born.

Shannon contacted RSL DefenceCare once again and they were able to support him and his family by providing him with transportation to his rehabilitation appointments, reducing the burden on his wife.

RSL DefenceCare supported me immediately with little fuss and made our world just that much easier in a time where help was truly needed.

“To any person who reads this, I have not written this as a hard luck or 'poor me' story. It is what it is. What I do want to say to serving and ex-serving veterans is that RSL DefenceCare’s staff are brilliant, supportive and most importantly, quick in their response time.

“I found discharging and applying for my service entitlements paralysing and many times nearly walked away from everything including my beautiful family so I wouldn’t hurt them. On the surface, the giving of taxi vouchers might seem simple. However, in reality these simple actions and the easy way RSL DefenceCare went about it, brought me back to the surface and saved me from drowning.”

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