Jerry’s story

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22nd September 2019

After joining the Royal Armed Forces at the age of seventeen, Jerry Ward had become an esteemed and accomplished pilot in the Air Force, piloting the Lancaster Bomber over Buckingham Palace for the 50th anniversary of VE day.

In 1997, Jerry retired from the Armed Forces and received his commercial pilot license. In November 2007, just before he was set to retire, he was asked to pilot a flight to Cancun. Getting out of the ocean after a swim, Jerry was hit from behind by a large wave, knocking him down and breaking his neck. Luckily, he was rescued and resuscitated before being rushed to hospital.

Jerry was left paralysed from the neck down. Over time, his condition quickly deteriorated and he lost his ability to speak, requiring a feeding tube and ventilator. He was flown back to the UK to undergo lifesaving procedures.

Throughout all the highs and lows, he remained determined to participate in the Great Manchester Run in May 2008. His condition began to improve, and he was able to participate, accompanied by a hospital staff member. In 2012, he participated in the Olympic torch relay alongside his son, Sam.

Since his accident, Jerry has stayed at Revitalise Sandpipers, where he feels at home among the fellow guests and staff. 

“The staff are all so respectful of everyone’s disability without rubbing your nose in it. It’s hard enough to go through life with a broken neck and being in a wheelchair. The staff at Revitalise are very good at making sure it’s an all-inclusive environment”, he explains. “They are very adaptable and flexible. Everyone is so friendly and knows my name and says hello”.

In December 2018, Jerry spent a six week long stay at Sandpipers, after having been in hospital with a life threatening case of pneumonia. The break allowed him to relax and enjoy himself whilst still receiving the care support he needed. 

Jerry appreciates Revitalise not only for the care he receives, but also because his time away allows his wife and family a break from caring, explaining, It’s as much of a break for my wife as it is for me.”

To find out more information about Revitalise breaks, or to book one yourself, please contact our bookings team on or 0303 303 0145.

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