Craig Wood on a Weymouth Parasailing Day

Craig Wood

Craig's Story

Craig remembers a white flash and his friend running towards him before he blacked out. It was July 2009 and the 18-year old Rifleman was on a routine afternoon patrol. It was three months into his tour. His battalion, 2RIFLES, was based in Sangin and had already experienced a high number of casualties. This was Craig's first experience of a warzone. "Part of my job," he says, "was to go out with my platoon or company on foot patrols. We would talk to the locals, find out how they were and help them in any way."

That morning had started like any other pre-patrol, with a briefing before the group gathered together their kit. Then they set out. "I remember the section stopping for some water before carrying on. I had gone about 10 feet when suddenly there was a white flash and the feeling that something had hit me."

Craig was the only casualty, but had lost both his legs and his left forearm: "I was aware I had been hit but didn't realise how badly. I know now that the process was very quick, from the moment I was hit to the evacuation and the result undoubtedly saved my life. I was taken back to Camp Bastion and stabilised. I was flown back home the next day."

Craig spent 15 weeks in Selly Oak Hospital then two weeks at home. He said: "It was overwhelming and hard at first but I had to get on and accept that this is how I am now. My family were very upset but they have been amazing and have supported me every day." The next stage for Craig was beginning the long rehabilitation process at Headley Court. "I think Headley is great. There's so much camaraderie which really helps. They teach you how to walk on your prosthetic legs which gave me a real sense of achievement."

Back on the water

Craig has benefitted from a huge variety of things that H4H has provided from using the swimming pool and gym at Headley Court to taking part in some of the Battle Back activities including water-skiing.

He's also a member of the Help for Heroes Band of Brothers network. "I think Help for Heroes is brilliant. It helps people out when they need something or even if they just want to try something new."

H4H has been able to fund a windsurfing simulator through the Quick Reaction Fund (QRF) for Craig, as well as a boat which he hopes to take to the Paralympics in 2016.