Bombed Marine: I had to beg, borrow and steal to get new limbs16/08/2015
A Royal Marine who lost three limbs in Afghanistan said he had to “beg, borrow and steal” to get the care he needed.
Mark Ormrod said having to plead with charities for money had caused more distress than the physical injuries he suffered after stepping on an improvised explosive device in Helmand on Christmas Eve 2007.
His account is detailed in a report written by Jon White, a former Royal Marines captain, which has urged ministers to overhaul the way the NHS and Ministry of Defence care for injured veterans.
Mr White, 32, who is also a triple amputee after stepping on a device in Afghanistan, has called for NHS funding to be transferred to the MoD.
That would allow the most severely injured veterans to have prosthetic limbs fitted at a world-leading clinic in the United States.
Mr Ormrod, 31, was the UK’s first triple amputee from Afghanistan after losing his legs and his right arm.
He had to raise more than £140,000 for artificial limbs to be fitted at the Hanger Clinic in Oklahoma City.
Ministers have been urged to overhaul the way NHS and MoD care for injured veterans
Having to beg charities for money hurts my pride and makes me feel that my sacrifice for this country wasn’t worthwhile
He said: “I still continue to beg, borrow and steal to get the care and equipment that I need.
"It is a source of extreme stress and anxiety for me, my wife and my children.
"Having to beg charities for money hurts my pride and makes me feel that my sacrifice for this country wasn’t worthwhile.
“To have to go through this after having given so much is painful and is actually more a cause of distress than the actual injuries themselves.”
Mr White's report claims some wounded servicemen find themselves in a state of “perpetual interventions” as clinicians experiment unsuccessfully with their care.
It adds: “Not only is this expensive but it is both physically and psychologically harmful for the patients.
"Suboptimal prosthetic care is tantamount to physical abuse, physically wounding patients.”
The report, which has been commissioned by Blesma, a charity for amputee veterans, also calls for servicemen and women who have left the Armed Forces to continue to receive care at the military’s specialist rehabilitation centre at Headley Court, Surrey.
Mr White said: “The NHS and its staff do their best for the 160 operationally wounded men but it was not set up to cope with such complex injuries and recovery profiles.”
Blesma chief executive Barry Le Grys said: “We have been concerned for some time that NHS services were patchy and that veterans had a tough job navigating their way through the system with the delays and frustrations.”
A Government spokesman said: “For personnel who remain in service, the Ministry of Defence will continue to provide their prosthetic services.
“When they become veterans the NHS provides this service, and the NHS has committed to providing the same standard of world-class clinically appropriate prosthetic care that service personnel receive. This commitment is for life.”Back to all