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Mick McConnell

In 2011 Mick was on patrol in Afghanistan searching for IEDs when his dog Memphis momentarily left his side and Mick stepped on a mine. Even though the IED only partially exploded, it caused irreversible damage.

Corporal Mick McConnell with Memphis

"There was a massive bang and I fell on my left side," Mick recalls.

"Although I was screaming in agony, my first thought was to feel for any major bleeding and see if my arms and legs were still there. As I was dragged to safety, I heard Memphis barking – it's the first time I'd ever heard him bark."

Mick's left foot had been shattered in the explosion and back in England he spent a month recovering in hospital with five-inch pins keeping his foot together. Despite almost two years of rehabilitation, he is still on medication and last year took the decision to have his foot amputated.

It was during this time he contacted the Benevolent Fund for a loan. This enabled him and his wife Lorna, a former Flight Sergeant, to buy a more suitable home in Elgin, close to family.

"The fact that the Benevolent Fund has helped us to move from a house where it took me 10 minutes to get up and down the stairs to a home that’s easily accessible and close to family where we can get support, has made a huge difference to our lives. They’ve lifted this unbelievable weight from my shoulders.

"I didn't know a lot about them until I was injured, but now I realise that they’re not a small cog in the wheel – they're making a huge difference to people like me."

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