Joy as Army veteran who had leg shattered by Afghan bomb walks bride down aisle


Ben Bainbridge’s left leg was shattered and his lung punctured while serving with the 2nd Battalion of the Yorkshire Regiment in Afghanistan

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An Army veteran whose leg was shattered when he was blown up in Afghanistan was able to walk his bride down the aisle in heartwarming and emotional scenes.

An Improved Explosive Device detonated next to Ben Bainbridge when he was just 18, Hull Live reports.

His injuries were so extensive that when he was treated by specialist medics, he had only two pints of blood left in his body.

He survived against the odds, but the severe nerve damage to his left leg meant Ben struggled to walk as his foot was paralysed and he would often stumble and trip over.

A customised leg brace, funded by Help for Heroes, has enabled the now 30-year-old to begin enjoying life back on both feet again.

Ben and Steph Bainbridge got married at St Michaels Parish Church in Skidby
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Image:

HullLive/Donna Clifford)

And on Friday, Ben fulfilled a very special wish – to be able to walk his fiancée Steph Dunn down the aisle.

The couple married at St Michael’s Church, Skidby, with their daughters Ellie, 11, and Ariel, seven, as bridesmaids, and continued their celebration at The Millhouse, in Skidby.

The wedding served as an important milestone in Ben’s long journey to recovery, aided by Steph who reached out to Help for Heroes and set in motion the assessments that led to Ben receiving his leg brace, which successfully holds his foot in position.

The couple walked together after the service
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Image:

HullLive/Donna Clifford)

A Help for Heroes spokesman said: “Everyone at Help for Heroes wishes Ben and Steph a lifetime of happiness together as they start this exciting new chapter.

“His customised leg brace, which was funded by Help for Heroes, has massively improved Ben and his whole family’s quality of life.

“We urge the Government to reinstate the Veterans Mobility Fund so that many more veterans like Ben can continue to thrive in their recovery from injury and illness.”

Ben and Steph Bainbridge with daughters Ariel and Ellie
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Image:

HullLive/Donna Clifford)

Ben proposed to Steph on Mother’s Day last year, with the help of the couple’s Jack Russells, Molly and Rex, who sported “Will You?” and “Marry Me?” messages on their collars.

Ben said: “Usually my ankle is hypersensitive but this leg brace feels comfortable as it fits on the outside of my shoes and goes up to my calf so stops my foot from flopping.”

He said he had been looking forward to walking up the aisle on his wedding day and having people stare at him “for the right reasons”.

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Steph said: “When Ben stood up and walked for the first time in the new leg brace, I cried, it felt so amazing. It was overwhelming because just being able to walk has been a daily struggle for him for 11 years.

“Help for Heroes has been there for both of us.”

Ben was serving with the 2nd Battalion of the Yorkshire Regiment fighting the Taliban when a hidden bomb was detonated by a remote device.

The full impact shattered his left leg, hit the main artery in his groin and punctured his right lung.

After being put into an induced coma and stabilised, Ben was transferred back to the UK and spent two years at the military’s Headley Court rehabilitation centre and, despite aiming to continue his career in the Army, he was medically discharged in 2013.

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George Holan

George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.

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