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The sky's no limit for Dale; Injured Welsh Guard raising funds for charity which helps him.

Byline: Jessica Flynn

A SOLDIER who suffered devastating injuries in an Afghanistan bomb blast will today skydive to raise money for other wounded personnel.

In 2009, Drummer Dale Leach, from Barry, was serving with the Welsh Guards when the Jackal vehicle he was travelling in hit an improvised explosive device (IED), throwing him from the wreckage and leaving him scarred for life.

The 26-year-old suffered a broken back in three places, fractured skull, collapsed lungs, a shattered eye socket, brain damage that affects his memory and had his left leg amputated above the knee.

Now, along with friend Carol Fry, the pair will be jumping to raise money for the Welsh Guards Afghanistan Appeal (WGAA). The charity supports injured soldiers and bereaved families whose lives are forever changed by service in Afghanistan. The appeal has already helped Dale and his family.

"I don't remember much of what happened. I can't even remember being on duty that day," said Dale.

"I was flown back to the UK and spent six weeks at the Queen Elizabeth in a coma. I only woke up when I was being transferred to Selly Oak Hospital.

"I'm recovering and have help from the Welsh Guards Afghanistan Appeal and I want to help other soldiers who are going through what I went through.

"I did a skydivea few months ago with Headley Court (Defence Medical Rehabilitation Centre) and it was excellent. I've caught the buzz and I can't wait to go up again."

Carol, a schoolteacher from Pontyclun, discovered the WGAA while helping Mark Llewelyn Evans to promote his charity CD for the organisation.

After meeting Dale, they decided to take part in a skydive for the charity which they will complete today from Swansea Airport.

"I've got to know so much about the charity and the amazing people it helps," said Carol, 44. "To go off and fight in a land so far away, knowing you might not return or that your life could be changed beyond measure, is an amazing, selfless act."

To sponsor Dale and Carol, visit www.dcdive.co.uk For information on the WGAA, visit www.welshguardsappeal.com

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Publication:South Wales Echo (Cardiff, Wales)
Geographic Code:9AFGH
Date:Jun 9, 2012
Words:361
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