A SOLDIER from Salisbury who survived being shot by the Taliban is back in training despite suffering horrific injuries that left him in a coma.
Rifleman Daniel Owens, 23, of 4th Battalion The Rifles, who lives in Salisbury with his fiancée Abbi, 27, was shot during his last tour of Afghanistan and suffered severe damage to his internal organs as well as a shattered spine.
He was unconscious for two weeks, had several broken bones and feared he would spend the rest of his life in a wheelchair.
But he is now in Kenya training to be a part of the British Army’s Spearhead Lead Element.
He said: “I was laid flat for about nine weeks before I could get out of bed to heal the broken bones. Then it was a case of little by little getting me back on my feet.
“As things improved they thought they would see how far I could get and that is basically still what I am doing, seeing what I can manage and what I cannot.
“You’ve got to take your hat off to all the Army medical staff and the NHS staff because they really do work miracles.”
Last May Rifleman Owens travelled from Selly Oak Hospital in Birmingham while still in a body brace to join his colleagues in receiving his Afghanistan operational medal from the Duchess of Cornwall, who is Colonel-in-Chief of 4 RIFLES.
He will be in Kenya until the middle of June.
“Basically I currently cannot do exactly the same as my platoon such as running around practicising attacks so I am on the support side of things and later I am going to do intelligence gathering,” he said.
The Spearhead Lead Element is a force that can respond to a crisis worldwide within 24 hours.
The team of about 700 personnel from Bulford-based 4 RIFLES will be on stand-by ready to deal with emergencies such as a major domestic terrorist attack or the evacuation of British nationals overseas.