Trowbridge resident, Kelly Ganfield, who suffers from an auto-immune condition called antiphospholipid syndrome that causes blood clots, will travel to Israel for the games later this month.

The blind former Army soldier, who suffered two life-changing strokes, has been announced as a competitor at the 2022 Veteran Games and Conference in Tel Aviv and Jerusalem from May 29 to June 3.

Corporal Kelly Ganfield, who was a former member of the Adjutant General’s Corp, always wanted to join the Army.

That dream became her reality in 1998 but in 2001, just before she was due to deploy to Iraq, she collapsed and fell ill, and after 18 months of hospital visits, she was diagnosed with antiphospholipid syndrome.

An auto-immune condition that causes blood clots, it saw Miss Ganfield suffer from her first stroke aged 23 and again at the age of 25 - changing her life overnight.

The now 41-year-old lost most of her eyesight, developed epilepsy, and suffered a brain injury. She also lost her driving licence, independence and her career after she was medically discharged from the Army in 2005.

Miss Ganfield, a beneficiary of Blind Veterans UK, which selected her to compete at the Veteran Games, said: “I was in shock that my Army career had been cut so short.

“Before I collapsed, I played football for the Army and was physically very fit. I couldn’t understand how this could have happened to me.”

The Veteran Games recognise the fundamental role played by sport and family in supporting the ongoing recovery of veterans who have suffered physical and psychological challenges as a result of serving their country.

First held in 2019, 65 British wounded, sick and injured Armed Forces veterans will travel with their families to compete against their Israeli counterparts who are battling identical challenges.

Veterans will go head-to-head in a variety of sports while learning how their respective countries provide care for those wounded, sick and injured in the service of their country.

With her wife Sarah, Kelly shares a daughter Bethany, six, who has cerebral palsy after she was born five weeks prematurely and had a bleed on the brain.

She said: “I am delighted my family will be coming with me to Israel for the Veteran Games. I feel it is hugely important to show our daughter what is possible.

“It is always great to meet and share experiences with other veterans too; I am really looking forward to the event.”