Monday, 5 October 2009

WOUNDED - BBC Documentary 2009. (British Troops - Afghanistan) High Quality

Wounded, 2 scenes - BBC, 2009. For the first time, the Ministry Of Defence has allowed television cameras to follow the recovery and rehabilitation of severely injured soldiers returning from Afghanistan. Lance Corporal Tom Neathway, one of the subjects of the BBC One documentary Wounded, talks to BBC Press Information's Tony Matthews.

Tom Neathway was on a routine patrol in Kajaki, Helmand Province, when, as he puts it, his life took a different path. "We entered a compound to observe the Taliban," says Tom, a lance corporal in the Parachute Regiment. "We'd been into the compound before and had carried out all the correct procedures with the metal detectors to look for bombs and improvised explosive devices (IEDs) we found no metal signature whatsoever. I was on sniper cover and went to a hole in the corner of the wall through which I could observe and fire. There was a sandbag in the way and when I moved it the device detonated."

Tom likens the force of the explosion to a full-on rugby tackle. "It knocked me backwards and I realised straight away that my feet had been taken off," he says. "I still had my left arm, but it was badly damaged.

"It must have been something new," he says, "the Taliban are as clever as hell and we knew the threat was there. Before that, they had used smaller anti-personnel mines and big IEDs with lots of metal content in, but they'd changed to material that the metal detectors won't pick up."

Like Tom Neathway, 19-year-old Royal Irish Ranger Andy Allen was in a critical condition when he arrived back at Birmingham's Selly Oak hospital, which handles all serious battlefield casualties. BBC One's documentary, Wounded, begins at the moment when Andy was blown up by an IED. Losing his right leg instantly, he sustained severe burns to his face and eyes. Once back in the UK, the hospital's joint military and NHS medical teams had to amputate his other leg in order to save his life.

Andy and Tom were among 65 British casualties seriously injured in Afghanistan during 2008. In an at times harrowing but ultimately inspirational film, Wounded tells the story of their fight for life, their eventual recovery and rehabilitation, and the effect it has on them and their families.

for more open the BBC website!

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