Soldier loses legs in Afghan blast

Friends of a soldier whose legs were blown off in roadside blast say he's remaining positive despite his appalling injuries.

Michael Yule, a sergeant in the Royal Engineers, had been serving in Afghanistan since March.

He was with his colleagues in Helmand when he stepped on an explosive device and took the full blast of the bomb.

The 31-year-old, known as Micky, lost both his legs and the skin on his hands.

He also suffered damage to his internal organs.

He was taken to a camp hospital for treatment, before being flown to the UK where he is now recovering at a specialist unit in Selly Oak Hospital, Birmingham.

The extent of Sgt Yule's injuries were so severe that initially medics put him into a coma, and he is now recovering with family and friends at his bedside.

His friend and colleague Lieutenant Commander Rich Watson told The News: 'He is just so positive - that's the sort of person he is.

'He is already thinking about what he wants to do to maintain his fitness.

'He is thinking about what to do when he comes out of hospital.'

Among the many treatments Sgt Yule is receiving are skin grafts to repair the damage done to both of his hands and other parts of his body.

Colleagues have been amazed at his bravery immediately after the bomb went off and during his recovery in hospital.

Lt Cdr Watson said: 'He took all of the blast of the bomb that took all of his legs away.

'His colleagues were behind him but they weren't harmed.

'Even though this had happened he was still telling other people what to do with first aid.'

Sgt Yule had been living in Southsea with his girlfriend Jody and had previously worked as a defence diving instructor at the Defence Diving School, Horsea Island, Port Solent, for three years, before he went to Afghanistan. The fitness fanatic was also the army, RAF and Royal Navy powerlifting champion.

'I have seen him in the gym and he was always lifting weights,' said Lt Cdr Watson.

'Micky has always been a very health-conscious person so this has hit him really hard.'

His girlfriend has gone to Birmingham to be at his bedside.

Despite his injuries the brave father-of-one is still focused on the future.

Lt Cdr Watson said: 'We are hoping that Micky will get back to normality and gets better as quickly as possible.'

DEATH TOLL AMONG TROOPS IN AFGHANISTAN KEEPS ON RISING

Sgt Michael Yule is one of many soldiers who have been injured or killed in Afghanistan.

Royal Marine Richard Hollington became the 300th British serviceman killed in Afghanistan last month, as reported in The News.

The 23-year-old, from Petersfield, was on patrol in Sangin when he was killed by an explosive device.

He was also one of four servicemen from 40 Commando to have died in the same week.

Lieutenant Commander Rich Watson said he hoped Sgt Yule's injuries would raise awareness amongst the public of the danger troops face in the war-torn country.

He said: 'You hear about soldiers dying but you don't often hear about them being badly wounded like this.'

The death toll of British troops killed in Afghanistan is now 324.

The latest two men killed are Corporal Matthew Stenton, 23, from West Yorkshire and Lance Corporal Stephen Monkhouse, 28, Greenock, Inverclyde.

The brave pair ignored a hail of insurgents' bullets to help drag another soldier to safety.

But they were tragically cut down in the firefight.

PM David Cameron said this week that he aims to pull troops out of Afghanistan by 2015.

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