I was just 19 and it was only six days before the end of my tour...
The obvious injuries were losing
both my legs above the knee. But that was only the start of the damage
I joined the British Army at the age of 16 and completed my infantry training and joined the 1st Battalion The Royal Welsh at 17. At the age of 19, whilst leading a foot patrol in Helmand Province in Afghanistan, I stood on an improvised explosive device (IED), which resulted in catastrophic injuries. This was just six days before the end of my five-month tour.
My left arm was ripped open and my left shoulder was dislocated and broken. My left eye was blown out by the blast and my right eye badly damaged, meaning I am now registered as being blind. The less obvious injury was to my testicles, which were so badly damaged by the spray of shrapnel that entered all over my body, they had to be removed.
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After spending weeks in an induced coma, and another six weeks in hospital, I was sent to Headley Court to begin the process of putting my life back together and learning to walk with prosthesis. With the added difficulty of having no vision, I learnt to feel the feedback I gained through the limbs rather than see it. Eventually after two years and thanks to numerous operations, I regained 30 per cent of vision in my remaining eye.
Then followed six long years of operations and prosthetic problems, but I have been fortunate to be one of the first in the British Army to have a procedure known as osseointegration. I travelled to Australia to have titanium rods implanted into my femurs. This has helped me to walk better than I ever expected.
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