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    Crippled soldier walks tall at Royal date


    by ODN


    A soldier who lost both legs in a bomb blast in Afghanistan as well as suffering horrific facial injuries has spoken of his joy at being able to walk to receive a gallantry award from the Queen.

    Corporal Ricky Furgusson, of 4th Battalion The Rifles, said he felt honoured to be awarded the Military Cross for going to the aid of wounded comrades on four separate occasions.

    Speaking after the Buckingham Palace investiture ceremony, he said: "It's been a shock coming here, to be honest. The Queen was polite. She said she'd heard I was a brave soldier and was pleased with what I've done and what I'm doing now."

    The 25-year-old soldier, from Telford in Shropshire, was joined by his father, Paul, 50, mother, Tracy, 47, and sister, Melissa, 28.

    As well as losing both his legs, he lost an eye and fingers on both hands in the bomb blast in January.

    He was caught in the explosion as he was leaving a compound, treading on a hidden explosive device which others ahead of him had stepped over.

    He spent five weeks in intensive care and has had 17 operations including skin grafts from his forearm to recreate his lips and skin taken from his stomach to make a left cheek.

    Cpl Furgusson took his first steps about four months after suffering the devastating injuries but remains optimistic and cheerful about his condition.

    He added jokingly: "I used to think I was good-looking. People look at me in funny ways now but I don't care - I just get on with things."