Secretary of State for Defence, Rt Hon Michael Fallon MP, presents keys of Motability Scheme car to former Marine injured in Afghanistan
25 Mar 2015Secretary of State for Defence, Rt Hon Michael Fallon MP, presents keys of Motability Scheme car to former Marine injured in Afghanistan
Rt Hon Michael Fallon MP, Secretary of State for Defence, presented the keys of a new Motability Scheme car to Andy Grant, a former Royal Marine Commando who was injured while serving in Afghanistan.
The presentation took place at the Ministry of Defence in Whitehall, London on Tuesday 24 March and was attended by the First Sea Lord Admiral Sir George Zambellas, Air Chief Marshal Sir Stuart Peach, Air Chief Marshal Sir Andrew Pulford, Lieutenant General Andrew Gregory and Brigadier Charlie Stickland OBE.
Andy had his right leg amputated following injuries sustained as a Royal Marine in Afghanistan. He joined the Marine Commandos at 17 and served in Iraq for a year before going to Afghanistan in 2008. Aged 20, while out serving with 45 Commando, in Helmand Province, Andy was critically injured when a trip wire attached to two IEDs was triggered by the lead man. Both IEDs were detonated. After receiving lifesaving treatment on the ground from his fellow Royal Marines, he was airlifted to Camp Bastion. He suffered 27 separate injuries and woke up two weeks later from a coma, in Birmingham, at the then Selly Oak Hospital. He stayed in hospital for a further three months receiving treatment. For the next 18 months he spent all his time in and out of Headley Court in Surrey, where he began to adjust to life with his injuries. In 2010, he had his right leg amputated, just below the knee.
Andy left the Royal Marines in May 2012. Through Help for Heroes, Andy rebuilt his confidence by taking part in adaptive sports and he began a new career in motivational speaking, for which Help for Heroes supported him with the setup costs, including training and marketing. He now spends much of his time travelling around the country talking about his experiences. Andy also competed in the Invictus Games in 2014, and won two Gold Medals in 400m and 1,500m Men's Ambulant IT1.
He lives in Liverpool, with his partner Leonie, 28, and her two children, Payton and Brooke. They also recently celebrated the birth of their daughter, Alba, in October 2014.
Andy said: "I am very proud of my achievements and like to turn my story around to try and inspire other people about what they can achieve in the face of adversity. I am all about looking forward. I cannot undo what happened and I have no regrets. I am all about making the best of a bad situation.
"My job as an inspirational speaker takes me around the world; I've started amazing relationships with people; I have three children and an amazing family; I'm looking to row across the Atlantic; and I'm hoping to be picked for the Paralympics next year. My life has moved on in an amazing way and it's all down to what happened. It's given me more of a life than I probably would have had."
Secretary of State for Defence, Rt Hon Michael Fallon MP said: “It is a privilege to give Andy the keys to this specially-made vehicle – he is an an inspirational individual who embodies the fighting spirit of our Armed Forces.
“Our brave troops do a challenging and sometimes dangerous job. It’s only right that we continue to recognise and support those wounded in service. That’s why we work closely with charities such as Motability, which offer practical help to veterans and their families. I’m delighted that this car will give Andy greater independence and the freedom to work and travel around the country.”
Lord Sterling of Plaistow, Chairman of Motability, commented: "We are very pleased that the Secretary of State for Defence, Michael Fallon MP, handed over the keys of a Motability car to Andy, a truly inspirational young ex-Marine. We are very proud to use this occasion to honour those who need help with disabilities sustained whilst serving the country in the Armed Forces.
"In November 1983 the Government introduced a special mobility payment which enabled us to extend the Motability Scheme to all wounded veterans, of whom today we have some 17,000.”