Afghanistan war veteran Luke Adamson suffered severe stress upon his return, collapsing for reasons that couldn’t be diagnosed. But he went on to found a charity to support others in the same boat, and will join them in a fundraiser walk again this week.
Army combat engineer Luke Adamson had just completed a stint in Afghanistan when he collapsed and was left without a pulse for almost three minutes for no medically diagnosable reason. The only reason doctors could offer Mr Adamson, now 33, to explain his collapse was stress and anxiety. The Mt Barker man finished his Afghanistan posting in 2011 and returned to Adelaide. He said he experienced stress not knowing why he collapsed. “It snowballed from the anxiety of when it would happen again … I stopped going out and developed depression and alcohol dependency,” he said.
Kiri, Eli, and Luke Adamson at Seacliff Beach. Picture: Matt Loxton
Since finishing up with the Army in 2014, Mr Adamson has been hospitalised twice from post traumatic stress. Noticing a gap in transitional support for veterans, he established the Heroes on the Home front charity in 2016 to create a space for veterans to form a community. “It’s giving (veterans) an ear to relate to someone who’s going through it too, rather than the department,” he said.
Mr Adamson will walk with his wife Kiri to raise further awareness for PTS and set a good example for his four-year-old son, Eli.
Heroes on the Homefront is one of the charities the SmartBar Australia walk for a veteran with PTS will support, covering a 42km stretch from Seacliff to Henley Beach.