COLUMBUS, GA (WTVM) - A Columbus disabled veteran finds a new lease on life. Jeremiah Means will compete in Prince Harry's upcoming Invictus Games in London, England.
Retired Staff Sergeant Jeremiah Means is getting in one last practice before heading overseas Thursday morning to compete against wounded warriors from around the world.
"Well hey, if they can do it, you better believe I can do it."
That inspiration, Means said, derived from seeing others- just like him online shooting a bow while in a wheelchair.
"My wife saw an email that invited me to the Wounded Warriors adaptive sports and that's how I got this opportunity to go to London," explained Means.
It's not just Archery Means is involved but also swimming despite the physical challenges he now faces.
"At first when I got out of the hospital, I said,' why, why would you allow this to happen to me when I should have been saying, what did you save me from.'"
Flying 30,000 feet in the air rendering aide as an EMT with the U.S. Air Force, Means' biggest fear was getting shot.
"I didn't think going to the clinic following orders getting a needle in my arm was going to change my life forever."
But, it did. Means received two pre-deployment shots, a general flu vaccine and Pertussis, a whooping cough vaccine in 2009...just one day apart caused Means, his wife Ashley and their now 5-year-old son sent the family into a whirlwind.
After two months in the hospital, doctors diagnosed Jeremiah with ADEM or Acute Disseminated Encephalomyelitis-- a rare inflammatory disease of the central nervous system.
But life is much better now...Means will join the ranks of other former enlisted soldiers fighting a different battle...
"I want to bring home a commemorative medal...I don't care if it's a bronze...I'll be sporting that bronze metal proudly… boy!"
Means will board a plane Thursday morning for London where he'll compete against wounded warriors in 13 countries.
The games will run from September 10 -14.