FORMER Clacton schoolgirl Charmaine Healy admitted it was a “dream come true” to win two medals at the Invictus Games.

The 36-year-old described the experience as life-changing after winning a powerlifting silver and a bronze in the wheelchair basketball.

Healy, who served in the British Army for 12 years, was injured in an explosion while serving in Afghanistan with the Royal Corps of Signals.

She suffered a shrapnel wound through the back of her Achilles tendon.

After lots of surgery, she made the agonising decision to have her left leg amputated in 2013.

She admits the years since have been a struggle - both mentally and physically - but will never forget her experiences in Toronto.

“It was amazing and to come home with two medals felt incredible - a dream come true,” she told the Gazette.

“It felt like recognition for all the hard work and I’m really pleased it paid off.

“I can’t describe how much I enjoyed the whole journey, from being selected and training to going out to Canada.

“I met so many incredible people and getting to know them, hearing their stories and seeing them succeed was very inspirational.

“It’s changed my life.

“I still struggle, mentally and psychologically.

“It’s not just a physical thing and I’m still undergoing treatment.

“It’s been a difficult few years and isn’t easy to talk about.

“But coming here, I’ve overcome a lot of fears and managed to do a lot more than I thought I could.”

Healy, a former pupil at Clacton’s Cann Hall Primary School and Colbayns High School, won her first medal in the powerlifting, last Monday.

She competed in the women’s middleweight category and managed a best lift of 61kg.

“It wasn’t anywhere near what I usually lift and it was slightly bittersweet, as I was only a kilogramme off winning,” said the former member of Clacton’s Dragon Martial Arts Club.

“I failed my last attempt and if I’d managed that, I would have taken the gold.

“It wasn’t the best performance on the day but I did just enough to grab the silver.

“I was very happy and didn’t have any great expectations heading into the Games.

“We didn’t know the quality of the people and teams we were up against, so it was hard to know what to expect.”

The UK wheelchair basketball team finished top of their group before losing to the Netherlands in their semi-final, putting them into a bronze medal match against Denmark.

They won that to cement third place.

Healy is now based in Gloucester, where she was stationed in the Army.

However, she still heads back a couple of times a year and her dad and stepmum live in Weeley.

Healy’s sister, Sara Joyce, has competed on the international stage in Kung Fu.

The multi-sport Invictus Games are an international, Paralympic-style event, created by advisors of Prince Harry.

Wounded, injured or sick armed services personnel and their associated veterans have the chance to compete in a range of sports.

The first Games were held in London in March 2014.