Rifleman Craig Wood, from Doncaster, lost both his legs and an arm when he was blown up by a roadside bomb while serving in Afghanistan. He was just 18.
"I had always wanted to join the British Army. I signed up at 17 and loved it straight away, it was the lifestyle that I really enjoyed. I deployed to Sangin, in Afghanistan, in April 2009, three days after my 18th birthday.
"Three months in, I got blown up. We had been out on a routine patrol when we stopped for a drink. When we set off again, I remember walking forward a few metres and then just seeing a white flash. I instantly knew – and
felt – that something was very wrong. I landed heavily and I remember my friend shouting my name. After that, I blacked out."
“I was in a coma for 14 days before I woke up in hospital back in the UK. It was surreal. I’d lost both legs above the knee and my left arm below the elbow. I had pretty serious facial injuries, too. I knew I was severely injured, but I tried to keep a positive mental attitude.
"I’ve had so many operations over the last seven years that I can’t even count them all. I’ve had 10 operations on my face alone, and lots more on my arms, legs and body. Learning to walk again took eight months, and I was at Headley Court, undergoing rehabilitation, for four and a half years in total. I had all kinds of issues
– your stumps change and surgery alters things. You get knock-backs and have to re-learn the basics of walking all over again.
Keep Moving Forwards
"I joined Blesma as soon as I was injured in 2009 – they were by my bedside from the very beginning. They’ve helped me out with practical things, like adaptations to my house, and they’ve been there with emotional support, too. I’m planning on sailing around the coast of Britain soon, and they have helped me buy the sails for my boat. Blesma has given me the strength to move forwards with my life, and I’m incredibly grateful to them for that."