THE bride-to-be of a war hero who lost both his legs in a horror blast has revealed his wounds are so bad they have had to put their wedding plans on hold “indefinitely”.
Emotional Gillian Spence, 33, cried tears of joy when Private Paul Lambert asked her to marry him just weeks after he stepped on an improvised explosive device in Afghanistan four years ago.
He vowed to walk her down the aisle on his prosthetic limbs in a heart-wrenching pledge that has buoyed them through some incredibly dark hours.
But last night tireless charity fundraiser Gillian revealed their big day is still a date in the distant future as brave Paul battles to overcome the injuries which nearly took his life.
Gillian, of Polwarth, said: “We’ve learned not to set targets as it’s almost like setting yourself up to be disappointed. We like to take a more positive outlook so we’re taking things as they come.”
But she added: “It doesn’t mean I don’t like to flip through the odd bridal magazine though!”
The delay is down to complications brought on by Paul’s ongoing surgery.
Gillian said: “One of his amputations was very high on his leg and there have been problems getting the stump to heal properly. We’re now waiting for him to have tissue from his stomach grafted on and after that we’ll concentrate on getting him up on his prosthetics.”
Paul, 32, was not expected to survive after he stepped on the IED while serving in Helmand with the Royal Scots Borderers. He lost his legs, a finger and suffered massive internal injuries.
He has fought his way back to health with help from Gillian and ABF The Soldiers’ Charity, which has been offering support to serving and retired soldiers and their families since 1994.
Now Gillian is planning a lavish fundraising bash for the charity, saying it’s the least she can do for the inspirational body.
The former recruitment consultant said: “ABF The Soldiers’ Charity give half the money they raise to charities like Erskine and Poppyscotland, while the other half goes on helping individuals.
“When they asked if I wanted to join their fundraising committee I jumped at the chance. They’ve also made Paul an ambassador, which is a real honour.”
Paul, who is currently at Headley Court Rehabilitation Centre in Surrey, said: “I wouldn’t have got as far as I have without Gillian, and I am stronger than ever before.
“The Soldiers’ Charity is another support network and it’s proven to be as much for her as it is for me.”