War veteran from Parson Drove who lost part of a leg during Afghan bomb blast is set to join amputees rowing across the Atlantic

Paddy Gallagher

Paddy Gallagher - Credit: Archant

A Wisbech man is among four amputees planning a 3,000 mile trip across the Atlantic Ocean to raise money for charity.

Paddy Gallagher

Paddy Gallagher - Credit: Archant

Paddy Gallagher, of Parson Drove, lost his right leg below the knee in a blast in Afghanistan in 2009. He described the injury as an “occupational hazard”.

However, Mr Gallagher’s not letting that stop him from achieving great things – instead, he’s readying himself to take part in the annual Talkisker Whiskey Atlantic Challenge.

As part of a four-person team, the 30-year-old is hoping to set the record for the first all amputee team to conquer it.

“I’m doing it to raise money and awareness for injured serviceman, to motivate those who have not got over their injuries yet.”

He said the race has been delayed for a week because of the weather, “but I want to get off and start now.

“I want to let other veterans know that life is not over and you can still achieve the extraordinary.”

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Mr Gallagher and his team will be out at sea for between 45 and 55 days as they battle the weather to raise funds for Blesma, Endeavour Fund, Help for Heroes and Row2Recovery.

The latter, Row 2 Recovery, has already raised over a million pounds to help injured servicemen, servicewomen and their families, but Paddy hopes to push the total further.

“We’re like coil springs at the moment,” he added, “there’s four of us on the boat and between us we’ve got three legs.

“I’ve prepared for the worst and everything else is a bonus.”

Mr Gallagher said he’s rowed before as a youngster back in Ireland with his dad, but this challenge, across a whole ocean, he said, is “crazy”.

For more information about Row2Recovery, visit www.row2recovery.com/atlantic-row.html

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