A MUM has spoken of her pride that her soldier son has returned to duty – after losing a leg to a landmine in Afghanistan
Fusilier Sean Wiseman, 24, has just finished a six-week tour of duty in Kenya with his old regiment, The Royal Highland Fusiliers (2 SCOTS).
He lost his right leg and almost died when a Taliban roadside bomb exploded on December 22, 2010 in Nad-e Ali, Helmand Province.
Mum Lynne, 50, of Dalkeith, said: “I don’t think any mum could be prouder. Sean has not only recovered but fought amazingly hard to win his place back in the job he loves.
“The day he was injured stays with me forever. As soon as I put the key in my door on returning from work that day I knew something was terribly wrong.
“My daughter Hannah stepped out of her bedroom and said ‘There is a man in the living room waiting to see you, mum. I have been told to stay in my room’.”
It could only be one thing. Sean was serving in Afghanistan and this was the moment she had dreaded.
“As I walked into the living room an army officer stepped forward to speak,” Lynne recalled. “But before he could I cried out ‘Just tell me my son is not dead. Please’.”
Sean had been injured and had been saved by medics on the spot.
“Those were the words I wanted to hear,” Lynne said. “No matter how much they grow up or how brave they become, the umbilical cord is never really cut.”
Sean, just 18 at the time, had been prevented from bleeding to death at the scene. He had only been in Helmand a few months with his 2 Scots battalion and survived an explosion just two weeks earlier.
Lynne had signed the permission form to allow Sean to sign up at 16.
The road back to becoming a serving soldier with one leg has been a tough battle.
Sean recovered thanks to medics in Afghanistan, his team and the military ward at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Birmingham.
As he lay wired up to monitors in his bed, Lynne, a former physiotherapy assistant, said: “I knew right away with holes blasted in his two legs he would be lucky to keep both.
“All he could say through morphine-induced pain relief was ‘Tell the lads I am coming back shortly. Just stitch me up and I’ll be back in Afghanistan shortly’.
“He was desperate to get back to his unit but I could see months or even years of recovery ahead.”
Lynne was to keep a bedside vigil which was to last five months. She only travelled back to family in Scotland at the weekends.
Sean’s recovery was to be a rollercoaster where progress was followed by setbacks.
Infection set in to his wounded right leg and eventually he gave surgeons the go-ahead to amputate it. He faced years of rehabilitation.
“Sean was fixated on getting back to his unit and knew a prosthetic leg was his best chance,” said Lynne.
“He then had to become super fit and prove he was worthy of a place.”
Determined to serve his country again Sean refused a medical discharge and made the grade.
The brave fusilier has just returned from his first posting overseas to Kenya. It was a six-week drill in a sweltering temperature of 35C.
“Now I look at Sean and realise I have a son in a million,” said Lynne. “Even after everything we have been through I would sign his army papers again.
“The army is a huge part of Sean’s life and I could never deny him that, ever.”