In May 2007 Jon Le Galloudec arrived in Iraq for a six-month tour of duty alongside his friend, Corporal Rodney Wilson. In the early morning of 7 June whilst on patrol his unit came under attack and Jon was shot in the spine. During the rescue attempt Rodney ran 50 feet or so, under heavy fire, to save Jon and started dragging Jon to safety. When they were about 20 feet from cover Jon heard a thud and fell to the ground. That's when he knew Rodney had been hit.
Tragically Rodney Wilson died instantly making the ultimate sacrifice so that Jon might live. Jon was operated on at the field hospital at Basra Air Station. The bullet had struck his spine, ripping through his gut and a kidney. Later, he was flown to Birmingham's Selly Oak hospital before being transferred to Stoke Mandeville Hospital, where he stayed for nearly three months.
It was at Stoke Mandeville that Jonathan was told he would never walk again. However, he stubbornly ignored them and two months after being shot, watched by his mum and nurses, he took his first wobbly steps. Having been told that he would always be in a wheelchair proving doctors and surgeons wrong by walking out of the hospital three months later, was one of the best days of his life.
Jon spent 18 months at Headley Court where he learnt how to walk again and adjust to life as a wounded soldier. Jon reflects that it would have been all too easy to sink into a dark depression and lose control of his life, but he had made a promise to Rodney that he would live his life to the full and embrace every opportunity.
Jon is heavily involved with the military charity Help for Heroes, having fundraised for them through his remarkable achievement of climbing Mount Kilimanjaro and trekking to Everest Base Camp. In addition, Jon has given inspirational talks to a wide range of groups, organisations and companies in his role as an Ambassador for Help for Heroes. The emotional and remarkable story Jon tells of his injuries and determination to live a normal life is one that must be heard.
Most recently, he has been training ahead of potential selection for this September's inaugural 2014 Invictus Games.