Regiment: Royal Marines
Home Town: Portsmouth, Hampshire
Injury: Severe right leg trauma as a result of shrapnel damage from suicide bomb incident. Puncture wounds right leg, right arm, hearing damage, left foot drop (metal plate inserted) and broken collar bone.
Alec passed out of Royal Marines training in 2007, joining 40 Commando and going on to train in various environments and exercises around the globe including Amphibious assault training in the Mediterranean and Jungle training in Brunei/Borneo. He was then posted with 40 Cdo to Sangin in the Helmand district of Afghanistan in 2010 (Herrick 12).
Alec was badly injured 4 months into his tour by a suicide bomber whilst on a routine foot patrol. Luckily for Alec the bomber detonated himself a few metres behind him and most of the blast fragments and ball bearings went straight into the large equipment he was carrying on his back. The remaining blast impact was absorbed mainly by his legs, leaving him with multiple puncture wounds to both legs, a severed main artery in his right leg, puncture wounds to his left foot and right arm, a broken collar bone and hearing damage.
Alec claims to have come off pretty lightly and considers himself lucky considering how close he was to the blast. Alec says he owes so much to the guys who were with him on the ground that day who were able to help him so quickly before he suffered too severely with dramatic bleeding.
Alec was transported back to Camp Bastion and then on to Queen Elisabeth hospital Birmingham. After 10 weeks of surgery, rehab and learning to walk again he was transferred to Headley Court for a few months and then on to Hasler Company for 2 years. It was here where he heard of a charity called ‘Wings for Warriors’ and through them gained his Private Pilots License (Helicopter). He has also gone on to complete a Close Protection Course.
Just over 4 years and 6 months has passed since his incident and his injuries certainly haven’t been simple. Alec’s right leg has been the main problem with complications and lots of surgery has been required including multiple skin grafts of a huge skin flap which was taken from his stomach to close the leg and keep it safe from infections and improve the blood flow. He will always suffer from swelling and poor flexibility in the leg but he sees this as a small price to pay considering there was a 90% chance that he was going to lose it above the knee.
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