JJ Chalmers and his professional partner Amy Dowden have won an army of fans on BBC One’s Strictly Come Dancing

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Strictly speaking, star JJ Chalmers is a firm fan favorite with his easy steps on the dance floor and determination not to let anything hold him back

The 33-year-old suffered devastating injuries while serving in Afghanistan and feared that he would never walk again

He was out of foot patrol with his comrades when one of them stepped on an IED (improvised explosive device)

JJ was thrown on his back and says the first thing he remembers that harrowing day nine years ago is lying “pulverized” in a heap of rubble

Father of two JJ said, “Every part of my body had suffered some type of damage, my legs were torn open, my face was bruised, my neck was broken, my arms were torn off pretty well”

It was the “worst pain” the young Royal Marine Commando had ever experienced, and it remains eternally grateful to fellow soldiers who desperately tried to save his life while they waited for medical help

He was brought to Camp Bastion by helicopter and an hour after his serious injury in the explosion on the operating table

JJ was flown back to the UK for life saving treatment and the hero Royal Marine suffered 30 surgeries on his wounded body

He was in a coma at the Queen Elizabeth Military Hospital in Birmingham for a week

JJ said, “My arms essentially came apart and they were held in place by incredible surgeons for the weeks, months and years to come

“My face was bruised, my neck was broken, my eardrum was ruptured. Pretty much everything had suffered some damage

“But except for a few fingers everything was still there. Everything was glued back together, the surgeon built a new body for me

“And then I spent most of four or five years learning how to use that body”

He has never forgotten the comrades he lost on that devastating day in 2011 and makes sure that he remembers them every day

The moderator said, “I can never leave behind what happened that day. It’s the bittersweetest thing of my life because I survived – but we lost two great guys

“This will stay with me forever. My daughter Hayley’s middle name is Olivia in honor of Ollie (Augustin) I’ll never get what happened behind me, but I won’t let that define me”

And he says that he has his beloved wife, Kornelia, who has been instrumental in helping him through his recovery

JJ explained, “I’m here today because of her. I was through Afghanistan with her and it was a challenge for her to come to terms with it

“She dragged me around the hospital, through recovery, did things for me that no one would ever want a loved one to ask, but she did and she kept my morals up and she was the one who said get out there and chase your dreams

“She essentially put her life on hold so that I could have the options I have, and when I hit the dance floor next Saturday I’ll do it for both of us. So it will be”

When JJ saw the Paralympics a year after his injuries, he realized he had a future outside the armed forces and switched to television two years later

He was hired by Prince Harry to promote The Invictus Games through a series of interviews, and JJ has never looked back since

There are risks associated with his bold decision to take part in Strictly, however – and his professional partner Amy Dowden is cautious about choreographing her routines due to his injuries

JJ told The Herald, “Amy already knows me so well that she choreographs every dance she knows I can and can’t do”It’s a physical and mental test every week”

Heartbreakingly, he admitted that he lives “every day with a constant level of pain” and that some tasks are natural and almost impossible for us

He added, “I mean I was a Royal Marine I could throw a door off its hinges in seconds – and now it’s a struggle to turn a doorknob? It’s frustrating”

Despite his injuries, JJ has climbed the rankings and won an impressive 24 points for his Fox Trot and 17 for his Jive last week

JJ Chalmers

Weltnachrichten – GB – Strictly speaking, JJ Chalmers fights daily against “pain” and struggles with simple tasks

Source: https://www.mirror.co.uk/tv/tv-news/strictly-star-jj-chalmers-battles-23062161