A war hero injured in Afghanistan will again enjoy trips to the beach after taking delivery of a new specialist wheelchair.
Sgt Rick Clement, who lost his legs in a bomb blast in Helmand in 2010, plans to use the £4,095 Mountain Trike to build up his stamina – making it easier for him to walk for greater distances on his new prosthetic legs.
It’s for fitness but also to take the dog down to the beach and other places where I couldn’t go before. It’s lovely to see him digging about in the sand. I plan to use it quite a bit.
Rick’s recovery has been featured in an Evening Post campaign and he was treated at the Specialist Mobility Rehabilitation Centre in Preston.
Since his injury he has dedicated himself to helping other injured soliders.
Today, he said he was overjoyed with the new wheelchair. He said: “It’s for fitness but also to take the dog down to the beach and other places where I couldn’t go before. It’s lovely to see him digging about in the sand. I plan to use it quite a bit.”
The all-terrain wheelchair was funded by several military charities, including the Duke of Lancasters’ regimental association, Blesma, Royal British Legion, ABF The Soldiers’ Charity, and Help For Heroes. Its manufacturer, which has praised Rick for his work in buying the trikes for others, gave a £200 discount.
Rick, from Blackpool, said: “The charities do amazing work and we support a few of them through [Rick’s charity] A Soldiers Journey, so it’s nice to be supported by them.”
As well as walking his bulldog Max on the beach, Rick said the new trike – which also has thicker wheels and suspension – will help him access other hard-to-reach places.
He said: “In particular, wet grass is somewhere I couldn’t go before but I can now.”
“The chair arrived a couple of weeks ago. I’ve not been on it that much because it’s been Christmas and everything, but I plan to use it quite a bit.”
Rick was loaned one of the specialist trikes on a five-day trial last March, when he tested it out along the beach, a feat he described as ‘massive’.
He said: “Living in Blackpool, you want to get down on the sand every now and again.
“It’s quite difficult but certainly doable and the more I do, the longer distances I will be able to cover. I did a mile on the prom after the beach too so it was a decent start.”
Mountain Trike spokesman Jayne Fishwick said: “The work Rick has been doing through his charity has enabled other injured soldiers to receive Mountain Trikes.
“It’s fantastic now he has finally received his own.”