David Henson

From Surrey /Hampshire

Hero: David Henson

Lt David Henson was the Royal Engineer search advisor to A Coy 1 Royal Irish in Afghanistan.

Whilst searching a compound on the 13th February 2011 in the Nad-e-Ali South area of Helmand Province, he triggered a booby trap, detonating an IED.

The resulting explosion left him a double amputee, having lost one leg through the knee and the other above the knee.

Following immediate hospitalisation, David began his intensive rehab programme at the Defence Medical Rehabilitation Centre, Headley Court. He is likely to be at Headley Court a year, undergoing a strict programme of physical training and physiotherapy, David’s main aim was to walk for his brother’s wedding on the 3rd of September 2011, where he was Best Man a feat he achieved 7months after his injuries. Amazingly, David was walking again within just eight weeks of being blown up. Having now moved on from his ‘stubbies’ (the short prosthetic limbs used to train patients to walk again) he is now mastering his technologically advanced computerised hydraulic prosthetic limbs. Although still undergoing treatment, David has just returned to competitive swimming, running and now regularly participates in wheelchair basketball.

He competed in Great London Swim in London’s Docklands on Saturday 2nd July 2011, completing the mile long swim in less than 35 minutes (beating his father and brothers!). An amazing result, considering it was his first time in a wetsuit and in open water since losing his legs. The family have raised a staggering £9,000 for Help for Heroes, over 4 swims, with one more to go.

Following his first degree in Mechanical Engineering, David is thinking of returning to University in Guildford to study Prosthetic Research and Production when he eventually leaves the Army. With the assistance of Haig Housing Trust, David is looking to purchase a house in the Fareham, Basingstoke or Salisbury area, which will require adapting to suit his needs, including a wet room and stair lift.

David was recently featured in the Southern Dail Echo. You can read the article here