Monday, September 21, 2009
Minutes after this picture Andy was blown up. But medics dedicated themselves to..
By Simon Ward,News of the World
WEARY squaddie Andy Allen flashes a glance at the camera as he rests for a few seconds against a dusty mud wall on gruelling foot patrol in Afghanistan's Helmand province.
Just 18 MINUTES LATER the young father-to-be is caught in the blast of a deadly improvised explosive device. His right leg is torn off, his left leg shredded and his eyes blinded.
Terrified pals see the 19-year-old's British soldier's mangled body in a pool of blood and believe he is dead.
But he lets out a moan - and their frantic efforts to save him followed by months of intensive work by specialist doctors, nurses and therapists means he SURVIVES . . . and even gets to see his new baby.
Andy's powerful tale of tragedy, bravery and hope is the first time a soldier's story has been chronicled on video from shortly before a devastating injury all the way through to his recuperation.
The film footage - and experiences of other soldiers including para Tom Neathway, 25, who lost his legs and an arm in a blast - have been made into a BBC documentary, thanks to the Ministry of Defence letting cameras follow wounded troops.
On the News of The World website, using the film stills, they tell Andy's incredible and moving tale.