Donation for ski training for injured veteran: February 2010
Dry ski lessons in preparation for a memorable holiday; transport, accommodation and equipment in La Plagne; further lessons on the slopes and mates to provide company enabled Lance Corporal Lee Midgley, a badly injured Coldstream Guardsman, to enjoy some much needed distraction and rehabilitation ...
In January 2010, Lance Corporal Lee Midgley, a Coldstream Guardsman, was serving in Afghanistan when he was caught by a roadside bomb and suffered horrific injuries including the loss of both of his legs. As a result, Lee was in a coma for a month and had to undertake 29 lifesaving operations. Once he had returned to the UK and a few months later, Lee was then victim to a calculated burglary, with thieves having marked him as a vulnerable target. He currently suffers from severe Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.
After DDMT discovered that Lee had a newfound passion for disabled skiing, the Trust worked hard to put together a ski trip for him. DDMT hoped that the trip would encourage Lee to develop his newfound passion and provide him with some distraction and happiness amidst the angst and suffering.
And so, in February 2010, Lee and four of his fellow soldiers journeyed to France for a week’s skiing. Lee’s companions served alongside him in Afghanistan. Having them on the trip was not only a practical necessity but, it was hoped, would also make the trip a truly unforgettable experience for Lee.
Details of what was organised for Lee as a result of the generous donations DDMT has received:
A course of five lessons for Lee on a dry ski slope up in Leeds. This also included insurance from Disability Snowsports UK.
- Flights, transfer transportation, disabled-equipped accommodation and equipment hire for Lee plus four in France, through Crystal Adaptive Ski. (The resort, La Plagne, and the hotel, Terra Nova, were chosen due to being wheelchair-friendly and experienced in catering for disabled skiers).
- Lee had further lessons while in France as it was necessary for him to be accompanied by an instructor, through Oxygéne Ecole de Ski.
Sam McAulely, one of the soldiers who accompanied Lee to France, said the following after the trip:
“La Plagne was a very good week away with Lee as it was the longest time any of us, since Afghan, had spent with him, giving us a really good chance of seeing how he was getting on. It was his first time skiing on actual slopes so he didn't really know what to expect, but was really excited. The lessons he had prior to going really helped him so it wasn't too much of a shock when he was actually on the slopes and the ski instructor was brilliant. The whole week away was amazing as it took Lee out of his comfort zone and also helped with his rehab.”
Charlie Finn, another of the soldiers who accompanied Lee to France, said the following:
“The trip was a great way for Lee to get back some of his independence after spending a lot of time at home. We all thoroughly enjoyed ourselves and I know Lee is keen to keep on going to ski resorts and carving up the slopes.”
DDMT has recently heard that Sam McAulely is furiously training for the Iron Man in the hope that he will raise enough funds to buy Lee his own custom-built sit-ski because Lee is so keen to continue the sport.
We would love to hear from you if you know of any soldier (whether current or past), family member or any project that might benefit from our help.