Lifesaver reunited with soldier he helped to rescue

CHAT The Prince of Wales talks to Cpl Ricky Fergusson, right, watched by his girlfriend, Michelle Dodd, and Flight Lieutenant Matt Haslam
CHAT The Prince of Wales talks to Cpl Ricky Fergusson, right, watched by his girlfriend, Michelle Dodd, and Flight Lieutenant Matt Haslam

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TWO military heroes were reunited at a royal reception for wounded servicemen after one of them helped save the other’s life in Afghanistan.

RAF Flight Lieutenant Matt Haslam, from Portsmouth, was one of the medics on board a Chinook helicopter which rescued wounded Corporal Ricky Fergusson after a bomb blast last year.

The pair were reunited at a reception for wounded servicemen and women hosted by Prince Charles and Camilla, the Duchess of Cornwall, on Friday. Flt Lt Haslam, 31, said: ‘Last time I saw Ricky, he looked very different to the way he looks now. He was on a stretcher and he’d been severely injured. It’s fantastic to see him up and about.

‘In all the parts of the job that I do, the most satisfying part is being out in Afghanistan and picking these guys up. We don’t really save their lives, their mates on the ground save them.’

Cpl Fergusson, from Shropshire, was caught in an explosion while on patrol in Sangin. An Improvised Explosive Device had been laid in the doorway of a building he had secured. The 25-year-old was looking down at the floor when the bomb went off, leaving him with severe injuries to his face.

Cpl Fergusson lost both his legs, an eye and five fingers.

He said: ‘I don’t remember getting hit and I don’t remember five weeks later.

‘I lost both legs above the knee, five fingers, my left eye has gone, all my lips are now reconstructed with skin grafts and the side of my face is reconstructed. I respect the RAF in so many ways. If it wasn’t for the RAF I probably wouldn’t be here now’

The 25-year-old, who holds a Military Cross, was treated on the ground by members of his team before Flt Lt Haslam and the helicopter crew evacuated him to Camp Bastion.

The event was at Highgrove, the Prince of Wales’ home in Gloucestershire.