A PARATROOPER who was badly injured in Afghanistan has set his sights on becoming a personal trainer so he can help people in similar situations to him.
Pte Luke Morrison, 24, has made fantastic progress since he lost part of his left leg in a roadside bomb blast in Afghanistan in February last year.
He is still having sessions at Headley Court rehabilitation centre in Surrey but in a few months time he will begin courses to learn to become a personal trainer.
He said: “I find it really interesting and I have always liked going to the gym. “I think I am capable of doing it and while I am still in the Army and they are funding the courses, then why not?
“I am hoping to do a gym instructors course, the advanced personal training certificate and courses on nutrition and rehabilitation for people who have been injured like me.
“If I have one leg and I can do this stuff, then why not other people?
“2012 is looking like it will be a really good year for me.”
Luke, whose parents live on the Rutland Heights estate in Stamford, grew up in the town and is hoping to have the qualifications under his belt to become a personal trainer next year, when he plans to leave the Army.
He was fitted with a prosthetic leg in April and is hoping to get a leg suitable for cycling, which will improve his gym sessions.
The sessions at Headley Court are focusing on his lower limbs, which will improve his balance.
He said the only pain he feels is in his right ankle, which was also badly injured in the blast.
He said: “I am pretty much mobile again now and the only thing I can’t do is run, which I’m not really too bothered about. I wasn’t into running before I lost my leg.
“The facilities there are absolutely fantastic and the thing with Headley Court is that there is always someone worse off than you.
“The morale is really high there.”
Luke is now spending much of his time at Merville Barracks in Colchester with his colleagues from the Parachute Regiment. He said: “It’s good to be back at the barracks, going out with my colleagues and having a bit of fun and my own space.
“The support from my parents and friends up here has been fantastic but it’s good to be getting back to normal.”
Luke is also planning to help with recruitment events for the regiment, including speaking to school pupils about the Army.
He said: “The Army have been really fantastic and even after everything that’s happened, I count myself really lucky.
“What I want to get across is that people think we don’t know the risks involved. But we do – you just never think it’s going to happen to you.”
Luke is also now driving an automatic BMW, which was partly paid for by well-wishers who raised money on his behalf. A Motown night held in Stamford raised £4,000, which went towards the car.
He said: “I had been saving my money for it and I thought I would treat myself. I like to have my freedom. Life is looking pretty good.”
Mercury readers also helped Luke by generously donating money to buy an iPad 2.