A soldier from Catterick in North Yorkshire who was seriously injured in Afghanistan has been given the keys to his refurbished home following extensive adaptations.
Rifleman David Maclean, who served with 1st Battalion The Rifles, suffered severe injuries from an Improvised Explosive Device (IED) while serving in Afghanistan in January 2009. David spent many months recovering from the injuries and subsequent surgery, which involved amputating one of his legs.
Once he was fully recovered David moved back into his house in Catterick, but the amputation along with his other injuries left him struggling to manage simple every-day tasks.
The adaptations now mean David’s home includes a fully functioning bathroom adapted for his needs, low level access from the kitchen and non-slip decking outside, enabling David to access all areas.
The project took just four weeks to complete and was managed by the Reserve Forces’ and Cadets’ Association (RFCA) of Yorkshire and the Humber, on behalf of the Ministry of Defence, as part of a scheme to support injured service personnel.
Looking around his new home, David said: “These adaptations have changed my life. Before I was struggling even to be able to wash myself properly and get around my home. Now, I’m more or less completely independent again, able to wash without the assistance of Kelly, my wife, and I’ve got the freedom to go anywhere in my home by myself. I’d like to say a huge thank you to the RFCA and everyone involved in the project – it’s made an incredible difference.”
Carron Snagge, Chief Executive of the RFCA said: “We’re delighted to be able to help David and his family, and very pleased he’s happy with the end result. For all the adaptations we do it’s important that injured soldiers are involved at every stage and the work is completed quickly and efficiently. This is our tenth adaptation in the region over the last year or so, and we’re very proud to have completed all of them ahead of time, thereby avoiding any unnecessary delays to injured soldiers, and letting them get on with their new lives.”
The RFCA manages the estate for all Reservists and Cadets in the region, which includes 449 buildings, covering 6,500 acres of land, and ranges from small cadet huts to multi-unit bases. Additionally, the RFCA manages multi-million pound works and estates budgets on behalf of the MoD, including adapting inured service personnel’s homes.