A former TA soldier from Whittingham is celebrating after winning two medals at the Invictus Games – plus the possibility of a Paralympic call-up.
Kieran Wood, 26, has battled back from a car crash seven years ago, which claimed the life of a friend and caused him severe brain damage, to win bronze in a four-minute endurance rowing event, come fifth in a one-minute distance race, and gold as part of the overall British team effort.
Kieran’s father Andrew travelled to London to watch the events. He said: “It was an amazing event and the atmosphere was unbelievable.
“To hear people chanting Kieran’s name in the stadium made the hairs stand up on the back of my neck.
“I follow football and boxing, but this was second to none, especially as my son was part of it.
“Kieran was also placed highest in the UK in that discipline, and we had a team talk with the captain and he was saying there could be the possibility of a Paralympic Games call-up.”
Kieran, who served a tour of duty in Iraq as part of the Duke of Lancaster regiment, was injured on his first day home after three months in Basra in 2007.
His injuries have left the right hand side of his body very weak, but with help from staff at the Defence Medical Rehabilitation Centre in Headley Court, and with the installation of a gym in the annexe of his family’s home, he has been able to make huge progress.
Mr Wood added: “Kieran’s over the moon about it, but he’s not a show-off. He’s as cool as a cucumber – he said his medal’s in a box on top of the telly.
“As well as medal success, he was also really thrilled to meet other servicemen who were at Headley Court who were made up to see him walking, because he spent seven months in a wheelchair.
“He’s done so well to get walking again, and to do anything else is major.”