Wounded war hero’s long road to recovery

A brave soldier who suffered life-changing injuries after a grenade attack in Afghanistan will cycle more than 250 miles as part of his recovery.

Lance Corporal Sean Donlan, of Gomersal, underwent a number of operations in 2011 after shrapnel from a rocket-propelled grenade left him almost paralysed down one side, deaf in one ear and unable to talk.

However after a procedure to remove part of his skull and intensive speech and physiotherapy LCpl Donlan is now preparing to take on the 260-mile Hero Ride cycle challenge alongside fellow wounded veterans.

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LCpl Donlan, 27, said the support he has received at Cleckheaton Vista Home Care Limited, and in Catterick had helped him recover.

He said: “The support of the military, the support activities team at Help for Heroes’ recovery centre and Vista Home Care in Cleckheaton, that taught me how to speak again, all helped me get to the stage I’m at now.

“I am determined to make the most of every opportunity presented to me.”

The four-day bike ride, run by charity Help for Heroes, will start in Catterick on July 17 and end in Windsor on July 21.

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People raising money for the charity through sponsorship will also take part in the challenge, alongside 10 wounded war veterans.

LCpl Donlan battled through his injuries to compete in the Ironman UK challenge last July with the charity.

The former soldier also hopes to take part in running, cycling and swimming race Enduroman in September.

He said: “Before injury, when I was fit, I would never have dreamed of being capable of doing these endurance events. so to be competing in them now, after all I have been through, is unbelievable.”