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On his first tour of Afghanistan in 2008, former Aircraftsman Mike Goody’s life was changed forever when the armoured vehicle he was driving hit a roadside bomb, trapping him under the wreckage. “The vehicle rolled over and I thought ‘I’m going to die’” said Mike, then 22. After three hours he was pulled free and later flown to Birmingham’s Selly Oak hospital. The blast caused such severe injuries to Mike’s left leg that he was left wheelchair bound whilst he endured 14 major surgeries in an attempt to repair the shattered bones. The blast also left Mike with brain injury and he has been diagnosed with PTSD. Mike opted for an elective amputation in 2011. “I decided enough was enough. It meant I could concentrate on the future” he said. “Six weeks after my prosthetic limb was fitted I was walking with a stick.”
Many would let such a moment define them, but Mike’s courage, drive, and naturally competitive spirit, ex Junior GB swimmer, Mike decided to live his life to the fullest, despite his injury. “If someone tells me I can’t do something, it just makes me more motivated to try and achieve it. I might not do it in the normal way, but if there’s a way I can skydive, waterski etc – then I’ll find it.”
Since his injury Mike has done just that. In 2009, he swam the Channel as part of a three man wounded team, in 2011 he competed in the swimming leg of the 2011 Bolton Iron Man and both the marathon and swimming section of the 2012 Iron Man.
Although his injury ended his military career, Mike is now training to become Britain’s first amputee paramedic “I want to try to help others like me” he said.
Help for Heroes have supported Mike in various ways since his injury. In 2012, through Help for Heroes, Mike took part in the London 2012 Paralympics Closing Ceremony. More recently, as part of the wider Sports Recovery Programme delivered by Help for Heroes.
Mike was part of the 130 strong British Armed Forces team, trained and supported by H4H, at the 2014 Invictus Games. Competing in the swimming and avidly awaiting the games he said: “I've always been a keen social and competitive swimmer. I always felt more at home in water than on the land and this became even more apparent post injury, when I lost the ability to get around unaided. Doing the UK Cross Channel swim with other injured soldiers gave me back the drive and motivation I had lost to better myself. Since then it’s driven me to push myself further and do things I never would have even thought I’d be able to accomplish before I was even injured on Military deployment.”