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Dragoons homecoming: Long road to recovery for brave Dragoon

14:25 05 December 2012

The Light Dragoons Home Coming Parade through Dereham - Cpl Alan Fernandez. Picture: Matthew Usher.

The Light Dragoons Home Coming Parade through Dereham - Cpl Alan Fernandez. Picture: Matthew Usher.

© Archant Norfolk 2012

A soldier who was injured in the same blast that killed Sgt Lee Davidson spoke about his memories of the dreadful day and his long road to recovery.

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The Light Dragoons Home Coming Parade through Dereham - Cpl Alan Fernandez. Picture: Matthew Usher.The Light Dragoons Home Coming Parade through Dereham - Cpl Alan Fernandez. Picture: Matthew Usher.

Corporal Alan Fernandez, 31, joined his comrades from the Light Dragoons for their Welcome Home parade through Dereham this morning, in his wheelchair having spent the last three months at Hedley Court rehabilitation centre.

“I could lose my left leg still, but I am hoping I should recover,” he said. “I broke both my legs, my ankle, I have ligament damage, I broke my back, fractured my hand and my shoulder - but it is getting better every day. I have got some more x-rays this month which should tell me whether it is going the right way.”

The Ridgeback vehicle that Cpl Fernandez and Sgt Davidson were travelling in was hit by a roadside bomb on September 9.

“I blacked out and when I came round I was upside down. I saw Lee and I thought he was OK but I knew he was badly injured. I found out later at Camp Bastion that he had died.”

Cpl Fernandez was operated on immediately at the base and two days later was flown home to hospital in Birmingham. He has had a further two operations and has been living at Hedley Court ever since.

“The regiment has been great and they wanted me to come down to the parade - I don’t get to see the lads that much at the moment so it was great to be a part of it all.”

He said he was pleased to be able to bring his wife with him as it had been hard for her and their two daughters, aged six and seven.

“When it first happened they found it very difficult to deal with, seeing me in hospital and the fact that I would come home for a bit and then go away again. It is better now they have been able to come down to Hedley Court.

“I think about Lee all the time and I am hoping to go and see his wife and family soon.”

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