Emotional Wellbeing

Mandy Kloppers

Lone Helicopter Crash Survivor

military

Medical Marvel describes his journey to walk again

Amazing Human Interest

Nicholas Barnes is living proof that luck is not always about avoiding misfortune but rather triumphing over adversity. His remarkable story, though tinged with darkness, reveals the indomitable spirit of the human condition. He’s not just a survivor; he’s a beacon of resilience. Nicholas’s life was intertwined with the military from the start. Raised in a family with strong military ties, he was destined for a life in service. His mother was a chef, his father a corporal in the Hampshire regiment. His childhood was marked by constant relocation, having moved six times by the age of 10. His life’s path led him to a boarding school from the age of 11 to 18, where he was recognized as a positive influence, displaying maturity beyond his years.
At 18, eager to follow his calling, he enlisted for basic training, but his journey took an early detour when he broke his arm falling out of a military lorry weighing 4.5 tons. Following a hiatus to pursue a business and computing degree, the events of September 11th, 2001, shook him to the core, leading him back into the military through rigorous basic training.
Over the next 3.5 years, his service took him to various hotspots, from guarding Buckingham Palace for the Royal Family to missions in Northern Ireland and even Arctic warfare in Antarctica. However, it was a mission behind enemy lines at the age of 26 that changed everything. The military helicopter he was on malfunctioned, plunging from the sky. Nicholas and one fellow serviceman found themselves dangling from the side of the aircraft as it spiraled downward. In a desperate attempt to survive, they parachuted into the unknown. Tragically, the parachute couldn’t fully open due to the short drop distance, causing Nicholas to land on his feet, sending shockwaves through his entire skeleton.
The year was 2007, and of the eight people onboard the helicopter, seven lost their lives. Nicholas was left as the sole survivor, but he was now paralyzed from the waist down. The subsequent year brought hospitalization, depression, PTSD, and deep emotional and mental scars. His ability to perform basic tasks such as holding a knife and fork, as well as speaking, was impaired. He developed debilitating diabetes and various health complications. Yet, the strength of the human spirit burned bright within him. Despite being told by doctors that he would never walk again, he found himself addicted to the pain medication necessary for his daily functioning.
A devastating blow hit when his wife, who had been battling womb cancer, passed away. Their marriage had been a testament to love and support, with Nicholas caring for her during her illness. “Her death changed it all for me,” he says. “It was the turning point. From that moment, I fought with unwavering determination to recover and make a difference.”
This marked the beginning of a medical miracle that defied doctors’ expectations. In just three years, Nicholas not only regained the ability to walk unaided but also became a dedicated athlete and founded “Incredible Warriors.” His purpose shifted toward supporting people and making the world a better place. He is now a qualified linguistic practitioner, a master neuro hypnotherapist, a pain expert, an emotional intelligence coach, and a mindfulness teacher. His remarkable journey of recovery has astonished many, and his story is poised to become the focus of an upcoming and significant documentary.