Senior Aircraftman Michael Goody was on patrol with the RAF Regiment in Afghanistan in October 2008, when they were hit by an improvised explosive device, or IED. He was trapped under his vehicle for three hours and suffered a composite fracture of his left ankle.
Due to his injury he was forced to return to the UK. However, when he returned home Michael found it hard to manage with his lack of independence.
"It was really frustrating," says Michael, "I couldn't drive my car – which was a manual one – and to get around I had to badger my friends and family."
The RAF Benevolent Fund helped to pay for an automatic car, which gave him back some sense of independence.
Over the next two and a half years Michael had 14 operations to repair the damage to his foot, but nothing worked. He was walking badly and damaging his knees while his hip and lower back were very painful.
Michael says: "When the surgeon told me I might have to have another two years of operations – with no guarantee of success – I knew what I had to do.
"I made the decision to have my foot amputated. For me, it meant I could concentrate on the future. When I had my prosthetic limb fitted, it actually improved my posture and my mobility."
Since the operation, the RAF Benevolent Fund has stepped in to refit Michael’s house, fitting handles everywhere for him to hold onto, allowing him to get in and out of the front door, make himself tea, or walk straight into his bathroom and have a shower without the risk of falling over.
"It's amazing not having to rely on anyone else," says Michael. "Now my confidence has shot back up and I'm full of plans. I want to go to university. I want to be a paramedic. I think it's great that the RAF Benevolent Fund is always there to offer help and support when people get stuck. Thank you so much."
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