Former soldier from Stow Bedon praises support from ABF The Soldier’s Charity
A former soldier who had his legs amputated will be able to sleep next to his wife for the first time in four and a half years after receiving support from military charities.
David Pendry, 45, of Stow Bedon, near Watton, joined The Queen's Regiment as a military bandsman aged just 16 but was medically discharged two years later after spending several weeks in hospital.
He had an infection and missed out on months of basic training at the Cambridgeshire base.
Just over four years ago he had his left leg removed and replaced with plastic and metal, and the bottom half of his right leg removed and replaced, because of type 1 diabetes.
The amputations were also caused by the bone infection osteomyelitis and the diabetes also affected the sight in his right eye.
Mr Pendry, who grew up in Dereham and studied at the town's Neatherd High School, uses sticks and a wheelchair but has had to sleep on the sofa downstairs and use a makeshift bathroom for four and a half years.
He has received �5,000 from ABF The Soldiers' Charity – the British Army's national charity since 1944 – and �35,000 from Dereham-based Flagship Housing, which provided Mr Pendry and his family with their Stow Bedon home a year ago.
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The father-of-six and grandfather, who is married to Denise, 50, also received support from the British Limbless Ex Service Men's Association and the Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen and Families Association Forces Help charity.
Work will start next month on creating a wet room and bedroom on the ground floor and later on this year the front lawn will be concreted over.
He said: 'It will make such a difference to be able to get around more easily in my wheelchair and to be able to have a proper shower – I am so sick of having to strip wash. The biggest difference will be that Denise and I will be able to share a bedroom again.'
The Ideal Homes for Heroes appeal was launched in 2010 by the Ideal Home Show and raises money for ABF The Soldiers' Charity to help former soldiers and their families who have housing issues.
It has supported more than 1,000 people so far and has raised �250,000 – the appeal has a target of raising �1m by the end of 2014.
Mr Pendry added: 'I can get my life back on track. I'm never going to grow my legs back but I can sleep in my own bed and can shower. I would say to any soldier or family, take as much help as you can – it is not the end.'
Mr Pendry will be representing the appeal at The Ideal Home Show tomorrow at London's Earls Court.
For information about the appeal visit www.idealhomesforheroes.com or ring 0845 2414820.