Strictly’s JJ Chalmer’s wife incredible sacrifice after his devastating injuries
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JJ Chalmers has won an army of new fans with his incredible routines on the Strictly Come Dancing ballroom floor.
The former Royal Marine Commando and his professional partner Amy Dowden gave an emotional performance on Saturday's show when he took to the dance floor in uniform.
Dad-of-two JJ had been spurred on by a phone call from his close friend, Prince Harry, while he and Amy were working hard in rehearsals.
The Duke of Sussex said: "When I first met JJ he was a shell of himself but then to see you shine through Invictus and to be yourself again, that was the start of an amazing journey.
"You're definitely having an impact on society now especially when you're wearing those tight blue shorts and the socks pulled up. It doesn't get better than that!"
JJ Chalmers with his close friend Prince Harry
(Image: Chris Jackson Collection/Getty)
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"I'm genuinely proud. You're not a dancer, proving that you can actually do whatever you put your mind to which is amazing."
The two men met after JJ suffered devastating injuries while serving in Afghanistan.
One of his comrades accidentally stepped on an IED (improvised explosive device) and the next thing JJ knew, he was lying on his back having been 'pulverised' by the rubble.
He said: "Every part of my body had sustained some sort of damage. My legs were torn open, my face was crushed, my neck was broken, my arms were pretty well torn off."
JJ Chalmers suffered devastated injuries while serving in Afghanistan
(Image: JJ Chalmers)
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JJ described feeling "the worst pain I had ever experienced" while his Royal Marine colleagues desperately tried to save his life for 25 minutes while they waited for the rescue helicopter to arrive.
Just an hour later he was being operated on at Camp Bastion before being flown back to the UK with his life hanging in the balance.
JJ was in a coma at the Queen Elizabeth military hospital in Birmingham for a week and endured 30 operations, many lasting up to 14 hours.
He then faced a tough road to recovery – but he was supported every step of the way by his devoted wife, Kornelia.
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JJ explained: "I stand here today because of her. I was with her through Afghanistan and it was a challenging thing for her to put up with.
"She dragged me through hospital, through recovery, did things for me that no one would ever want to ask a loved one to do for them but she did it and she kept my morale going, and she was the one who said go out there and chase your dreams.
"She put her life on hold essentially so that I could have the opportunities I have and when I get out on the dance floor come Saturday I'm doing it for both of us. That's how it is."
The couple married in 2015 and are now the proud parents to Hayley, four, and one-year-old James.
JJ has openly admitted he's finding it tough to be apart from his family while he takes part in Strictly.
He told the Sun: "Any time away from my family is difficult, but it's far harder for my wife, with the kids. We live in a world of FaceTime and videos, and I'm used to being away from them because of work.
"Hopefully, this tour lasts three months, and doesn't get cut short."