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Stuart served in the Royal Air Force (RAF) until in 2013 his life changed forever. He was caught up in an explosion in Afghanistan, losing his lower left leg immediately in the blast, and later had to have his shattered right leg amputated too. Stuart has found the strength to live life beyond his injuries through the power of sport and will now proudly serve our nation once more in Tokyo.

Stuart graduated as a RAF Regiment Gunner one day after his 18th birthday and served in Northern Ireland, Iraq and Afghanistan. It was on his fourth deployment to Afghanistan that his life changed forever.

Stuart was on a routine patrol near Camp Bastion in 2013, when his vehicle hit an Improvised Explosive Device (IED). The force was so strong, he was thrown 30 feet through the air. The explosion left him with life changing injuries; he lost his lower left leg and his right was shattered and later had to be amputated. Stuart also suffered severe damage to his right arm, 18 spinal fractures and three fractures to his jaw. He split his tongue in half, had fractures to his sternum and ribs, a burst bladder and a shattered pelvis too.

He was put into an induced coma for six weeks, and doctors were unsure if he would survive. When he woke up, and while recovering in hospital he had to make the heart breaking decision to have his right leg removed.

Determined to get his life back to normal as quickly as possible, Stuart threw himself into his recovery programme, undergoing intense rehabilitation at our Headley Court facility. 

“[I thought to myself] life begins now and there is no point in allowing it to define me,” he says.

Through our sports recovery programme, Stuart had the opportunity to try playing wheelchair rugby. He found he had a natural talent for it and went on to take part in the Invictus Games, winning a gold medal.

“Since deciding to get involved in the Invictus Games, I haven't looked back,” he says.

“Being able to continue the camaraderie and close knit community [that comes with being in the military], albeit on a much larger platform and with the ability to perform in a sporting environment, is a massive part of my ongoing recovery and rehabilitation. Sport gives me an ongoing commitment and purpose in life.

“Winning a gold medal in the wheelchair rugby at the Invictus Games in 2014 only inspired me to push on and try and make something from sport. I have loved every minute of my sporting career so far and am always looking to push onto bigger and better [things]”.

Stuart has competed at the 2014, 2016 and 2017 Invictus Games He is part of the Great British Wheelchair Rugby Development Squad, and was part of the team that successfully retained their title at both the 2017 and 2019 European Championships. He attended the Rio 2016 Paralympics, and then went on to win gold in the 2020 Tokyo Paralympics, with the rest of team GB.

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