Carl Anstey – Help For Heroes Student
Carl was a member of First Battalion, the Rifles for 5 years. He was hit by the blast from a rocket-propelled grenade in Afghanistan, in 2009, just after his 24th birthday. The damage from shrapnel shattered his femur and severed his sciatic nerve. Surgery has left him with a right leg almost two inches shorter than the left.
Carl has spent 3 years in rehabilitation, “I’m a professional patient”, he told us. He still needs a leg brace to walk, has further operations to undergo and is due to be medically discharged in May 2013. He is such an active person that he can’t see himself staying in the forces doing a desk job, “that’s not what I signed up for,” he said.
Despite his injury, Carl has done some amazing things. In December of lastyear he completed the Row2Recovery, an epic 3000 mile voyage across the Atlantic Ocean in a rowing boat. The aim was to raise money for three key military charities: Help for Heroes, the Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen and Families Association (SSAFA) and ABF – The Soldiers’ Charity. This is a huge challenge even for the able bodied and a truly inspirational thing to do.
Carl has a twin brother and a sense of sibling rivalry that keeps him going in spite of his injuries. His brother is an ultra marathon runner so he has a challenge in front of him to keep up. We think he’ll get there though; he wants to be able to run again and we don’t doubt that he has the strength and determination to make that happen. “I’m going to run again, get strong and then surprise my brother by running beside him in a race...and I’m going to beat him,” he told us.
Carl plans to use what he learns on the Training Room course and put it into practice on himself to help speed up his recovery. He aims to study physiotherapy at University and believes our course will help strengthen his CV. It is a very competitive course and he hopes that having the Training Room qualifications as well as his experience in the forces will help give him the edge he needs.