A Royal Marine who was warned he might never walk again after suffering horrific injuries in Afghanistan has made a miraculous recovery – and become a personal trainer.
Marine Tom Birch, 21, was seriously hurt when a Land Rover he was a passenger in plunged more than 100ft off a cliff in Helmand Province in November 2006.
He sustained multiple head and neck injuries – including three fractures to the skull and serious internal damage – and was given only a one in 20 chance of survival.
But the brave soldier, who joined the Royal Marines in 2005, is now back on his feet and has completed his training as a fitness instructor.
Mne Birch spent months recovering in hospital but later completed several courses to become a personal trainer in Heanor, Derbyshire, and has now been named ”achiever of the year” by brain injuries charity Headway.
He said: ”I was in a complete mess. I couldn’t even hold my head up on my own and speech was non-existent.
”The future was bleak but if I can bounce back then others can. I guess it’s my Marine fighting spirit and I hope this shows others there can be a light at the end of the tunnel.”