Scott Blaney joined the Grenadier Guards in 2004, taking part in many royal duties including the Trooping of the Colour in London. He was deployed to Afghanistan in 2007 and 3 months later his section were on foot patrol clearing compounds in Garmsir, Helmand Province, when they were hit by an Improvised Explosive Device (IED), injuring 5 and killing his best friend. Scott suffered severe injuries to his right leg and shrapnel injuries to his arm and eye.
Under RPG and small arms fire, his Drill Sergeant acted fast, picked Scott up and ran with him on his shoulder for a mile and half to the helicopter landing site for evacuation. From there he was taken back to Camp Bastion where he had emergency surgery to remove his right leg. He was then flown to Birmingham hospital where his long journey of recovery began with the support of medical staff and huge amounts of self-resolve.
'When I woke up in hospital I didn't feel defeated, I just decided that life had to start again. The army teaches to you to improvise, adapt and overcome, and I accepted that I had to move on.
Scott was in hospital for 8 weeks, and was walking on a special brace after 4. After that he went to Headley Court (the MoD rehabilitation centre) and started taking part in sporting activity as soon as he could - including running, cycling and swimming. He had a prosthetic leg fitted after a year and was successful in getting a grant from the London Marathon to take part in the 2009 event, completing the famous 26 mile course in 7 hours!He has also gone on to swim across the Channel, row across the Atlantic in the world's toughest rowing race that took his team 48 days and takes part in regular cycling and golf events. Scott would love to be a motivational speaker - telling his story helps himself and 1000s of others.
'My main driver is to raise awareness of the huge physical and mental challenges of our severely injured servicemen and women and the lifelong support they need and deserve. Sport has offered a vital focus in rebuilding my life. Provision for sport has been essential in enabling me to have the opportunities I've had. It's not just about Afghanistan; it's about people's whole lives, now and in the future.'