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Amputee veteran shows students the power of positivity

Published on 14/12/16

Students at Jane Austen College have been inspired by a visit from an ex-serviceman who lost both his legs in a bomb blast.

Duncan Slater visited the school on Wednesday, December 8, to explain the work of Walking With The Wounded, a charity that supports vulnerable former servicemen and women in finding long-term employment outside of the military.

He told students how his positive mindset helped him to overcome a life-changing accident while serving in the Royal Air Force in Afghanistan in 2009.

Duncan's road convoy was blown up by a landmine, throwing him 30ft out of the vehicle and breaking his legs, ankles, ribs, back, shoulder, and left arm.

After 12 months of rehabilitation it became clear that Duncan would never walk on his shattered legs again. He made the brave decision to have both legs amputated, and now has two custom-made prosthetic legs.

Duncan refused to let his terrible accident stop him taking on new challenges: “When I was blown up I thought that my life was to be limited; I was told by my doctor that I would never walk or run without pain again. I was determined to prove otherwise.”

In 2013 he became the first double leg amputee to ski to the South Pole, and next year he hopes to complete the gruelling Marathon Des Sables, a 250-kilometre ‘ultra-marathon’ across the Sahara desert.

Principal Claire Heald said: “Duncan's talk was extremely inspiring to both students and staff. His story is a fantastic example of what can be achieved with dedication, courage, and a positive mindset.”

The college is supporting Duncan’s fundraising efforts by donating £441 raised from its non-uniform day on Tuesday, December 13 to Walking With The Wounded.