Double amputee, Private Mark Allen of the 1st Royal Anglians was on his first tour of Afghanistan in 2010 when
his patrol hit an Improvised Explosive Device. He lost both legs along with digits from each hand and had severe
damage to his face and neck. Mark was 19. He was in hospital for seven weeks and is in a wheelchair to this day.
Treatment to repair his skin trauma is ongoing but Mark is incredibly upbeat because, as he says, many troops
have far worse injuries. However, all the time spent recovering helped him to discover his fighting spirit…along
On 1st August 2006 Lance Corporal Martyn Compton of the Household Cavalry suffered horrific burns to 75%
of his body when his armoured vehicle was ambushed by the Taliban using an Improvised Explosive Device,
killing his 3 comrades. Rocket-propelled grenades followed, which blew the engine up and engulfed him in
flames. He managed to crawl out, but was targeted with gunfire, getting shot twice. Severely injured, he was
in a coma for three months and has undergone approximately 500 hours of operations and years of rehabilitation,
and this is ongoing.
Gary joined The Royal Corp of Signals in 1983 aged 17, with various postings in the UK and Germany. It was
whilst in Germany that he was crushed by a truck, suffering multiple external and internal injuries which led to
abdominal surgery to remove damaged intestines. He suffered a life-threatening DVT plus was diagnosed with
severe depression and PTSD. Sadly, he also lost his son at this time, so coupled with the depression and PTSD,
he turned to alcohol, which in turn led to obesity…he weighed over 25 stone. On 19th March, 2013 he decided
enough was enough, and became teetotal. He also took up running and has succeeded in losing 160lbs.
Back on Track are working with Gary to address surgical issues as well as issues caused by PTSD.
Jamie was an army reservist and 32 years old when, in 2007 whilst in America during a routine solo flight training for his Private Pilot’s license, he noticed a thin streak of flame coming from the aircraft’s engine. Recognising the immediate danger, he attempted to bring the small aircraft down for an emergency landing. As it was summer, he was wearing only shorts and a T-shirt, so he managed to free himself from the cockpit and clamber to the wing where he stood until the aircraft was only 20 feet from the ground……. and jumped.
Jamie sustained 60% third-degree burns to his body causing renal failure, which meant he had to undergo kidney dialysis. Pneumonia and septicaemia followed and he remained in intensive care for 6 months in America and an induced coma for a further 6 months in the UK. He was given a 5% chance of survival. Since then Jamie has undergone over 50 operations and is currently being treated by Dr. Khan.
MICHAEL SWAIN MBE
Michael joined the The Rifles in September 2006, straight from school, and was sent to 3rd battalion in Edinburgh. During his time in battalion he was sent on exercise in Kenya and The Falklands and passed his PTI course, before deploying to Afghanistan in September 2009. On the morning of 8th November that year, he was on foot patrol in Sangin, a town in the Helmand province in Afghanistan and whilst heading into the southern green zone they crossed a derelict open field, where he was hit by an I.E.D which resulted in him losing both legs above knee along with shrapnel wounds to his arms. Michael is currently being treated by Dr. Khan.
Steve (Johno) joined the RAF in 1977 and served for 22 years around the UK, Germany, Cyprus and Sarajevo(1995).
Coming out of the RAF in 1999 he worked as a tanker driver and then worked his way through into management and a qualification in Forensic Collision Investigation, a job which he thoroughly enjoyed.
In 2013, things were not right. He started getting aggressive at work, not sleeping and when he did, the nightmares and flashbacks occurred. In 2015, Johno was diagnosed with Complex PTSD and was medically retired from work.
He now channels his aggression onto his road bike and cycles 6 days a week attending organised events around the country, and has got back into his fishing.
Back On Track has given him a competitive streak on the race track which has improved his confidence, whilst Dr Khan treats him for the ‘invisible disability’ of C-PTSD.
Luke Sinnott is a retired Captain who served with the Royal Engineers. He was injured on the 20th Nov 2010 while working as a Royal Engineer Search Adviser (RESA) in Afghanistan. Ironically the threat Luke was there to remove was his mechanism of his injury and the explosion from the IED took both of his legs above the knee and caused severe damage to both his arms.
Luke has recovered from injury through the use of Sport and has represented his Country in Athletics both for Great Britain and the Armed Forces team at the Invictus Games. As well as training full time for future Paralympics Luke is also a pilot and trustee for Flying for Freedom, where he uses flying to help rehabilitate other Veterans. Luke is also part of the Veterans Gateway and is working to make support for veterans better and easier to access.
Pete was serving in the Royal Engineers when sustaining an injury that put a stop the the military career. An accident on an assault course three weeks before deployment, saw two dislocated shoulders, surgery, a post surgical infection, PTSD and a medical discharge. Pete suffered septic arthritis and septicaemia during the surgical procedure and this ultimately led to the need for more surgery.
Treatment is ongoing for Pete and surgery will likely continue through his life, but that doesn’t get him down.
Pete believes that if you want something enough you can achieve it.
Pete enjoys cooking, photography and motorsport, and you’ll have your best chance at finding him where all three converge.