I am Private Luke Morrison of 2nd Battalion Parachute Regiment. I was out on patrol as usual in Southern Afghanistan on February 19th 2012. We had just had some breakfast and headed out towards a known Taliban headquarters, only 400 metres away from our base.
Our role was to create a cordon to protect the Army’s bomb disposal unit. We were in a really confined space, as the engineers had to check that the area had been swept for mines. A colleague and I were waiting to get onto the roof of a building to gain good visibility.
While we were waiting, one of the EOD (explosive ordnance disposal) team called out that they had missed an IED (improvised explosive device) and that I was standing on it! I then knelt to the ground whilst an EOD specialist told me to slowly move towards him. As I moved I triggered a pressure pad in the IED and was thrown 15ft in the air.
I knew I was hit and you could say my spider senses were tingling! When I regained consciousness, I found myself and lying on the floor. My instincts took over and I checked myself thoroughly as I had been taught but I must say the first thing I checked was my manhood!
I heard screaming but we told people to remain calm and check themselves over. My colleagues had been blown against a wall and were luckily not injured. But when the dust settled I realised my left foot had been blown off, I had injured my right leg and I shouted for a medic. The lads were all over their drills and checked for secondary devices around the area.
My friends checked me over and over until help arrived and I was cool, calm and collected but I knew the extent of my injuries and blocked it out in my head. Being a paratrooper, this is what we do! We are there to do a job and are by far the best. Even in dark times, I still remember laughing as help arrived as the lads kept winding me up that I had lost my manhood. Help arrived within twenty minutes of me getting blown up and as I went onto the stretcher, I put my thumbs up. I was then sedated for 5 days.
I woke up 5 days later in Birmingham City Centre Hospital and was happy to be alive. I spent a year at Headley Court and in between operations spent time at home with my family. I never lost my sense of humour and my attitude from start to finish was positive. Without the right attitude you will feel sorry for yourself.
At Headley Court it was great to be with people who were wounded and also people who had progressed through their injuries. It was a bit like Robocop City seeing lots of bionic legs around the place but it was amazing! If you go in with the right attitude you will fly through anything. Mobility is just a state of mind, all of the guys are upbeat and get on with their lives.
I am beginning a new mission: To get into the Paralympics. Day to day I am a personal trainer in a gym in my home town but to compete at Brazil in 2016 in a weightlifting category is my ultimate ambition.
Let’s see what happens – anything is possible.