Having volunteered for operations in Afghanistan he was deployed in 2010: “I had got so much from the army – adventure training, skiing, mountain climbing and diving. It was time for me to pay my debt. Adjusting to working with a regular army unit, 2 Para, in Helmand was easy and simply a matter of “having the right attitude”.
That was until 26 November 2010 when at the front of a patrol sweeping with a detector designed to alert soldiers to the improvised explosive devices (IEDs), a bomb exploded. “I was going through the drills, looking for secondary devices, looking for them to fire upon us. I could hear screaming and realised someone had been injured”. He continues, “I looked at my arm and it wasn’t moving. I climbed out of the ditch and my arm swung forward from the shaft (upper arm) and I thought ‘That’s not right’. I put my hand round and squashed my whole arm in my fist. I was covered in blood. I thought it was being held on by my shirt. I thought ‘My arm has come off but everything else is fine so I am going to be fine. I am just going to have to deal with it’. As he applied a tourniquet, he noticed that he was moving his fingers, that somehow the limb was still attached and after several operations medical staff were able to save his arm.
Having seen the charities expedition to the North Pole and with a long standing desire to climb Everest, Dan applied to join our Everest expedition team. As Dan commented himself, “Mount Everest is a special place and something I’ve always wanted to do. I truly hope to inspire people by doing it. Life goes on and expeditions like this will hopefully persuade others that regardless of their injuries dreams can still come true.” Dan continues to act as an ambassador for the wounded community and having received funds from our First Steps programme has successfully retrained as a Geography teacher and is currently at Leeds West Academy.
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