Captain Charlie Dalziel

 

From a very early age, Charlie knew that he wanted to join the Army – and as a result spent as much time as possible in the Combined Cadet Force at school and the Officer Training Corps while studying at Edinburgh University. After graduating in 2006, Charlie attended Sandhurst, commissioning as an Officer in September 2007. Wanting to maintain his Scottish connections, Charlie decided to join 1 SCOTS, The Royal Regiment of Scotland, who were serving in Iraq at the time.

On returning from Iraq and following a period of time in the UK and onducting training exercises in Kenya, Charlie was deployed to Afghanistan with 1 SCOTS to take over the role of mentoring and advising the Afghan National Army. About 3 months into the tour Charlie was injured when his patrol came under fire from the enemy. While attending to an Afghan soldier who had been shot, Charlie was shot through his right calf, the bullet passing straight through the tibia, fracturing it and the fibula.

“As strange as it sounds, if you were going to get shot, I was in the best place to be shot. There was a Doctor on the patrol who was able to attend to me almost immediately; and an American Blackhawk helicopter got to me within 45 minutes to air-lift me back to the field hospital in Bastion.”

After spending almost 3 days in Camp Bastion, Charlie was flown back to Birmingham Selly Oak. Charlie’s tibia was so smashed-up that it required his shattered bones to be attached with screws to a metal rod. After a week, Charlie was transferred to the new Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Birmingham, where he stayed for a further 4 weeks.

Since then, Charlie has spent time at Headley Court on a number of occasions, working with the team there to build up his strength and help him through his tough recovery period.

“Headley Court really is the most incredible place. The team of experts available is second to none, and the attention they can give you is phenomenal. Even more than that though is the ability to spend time with other wounded soldiers – people that have lost limbs, are severely mentally affected, are still wounded and are going through the recovery process. Being able to share experiences and to talk about your situation with people that truly understand what you are going through really helps with the healing process.”

Unfortunately, it appears as though Charlie’s leg is not healing as quickly as the Doctors had hoped, and he may have to have further operations to fix it.
“I want to get fixed, and head back to my Battalion. However, this seems a long way away at this moment in time. This is why I want to participate in the Horses Help Heroes challenge. It will give me something to aim for – as well as hopefully helping to raise a huge amount of money for Help for Heroes to be able to help people like me through the recovery process.”

Charlie Dalziel

 

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