Just 30 minutes after losing both his legs in a horrific blast in Afghanistan, Curtis McGrath was lying on a stretcher joking to his mates that they would see him at the Paralympics one day.
That was 23 August 2012, and the then 24-year-old combat engineer had just stepped on an improvised explosive device in an incident that would change his life forever.
“I don’t remember the blast, but I remember opening my eyes lying flat of my back, and there was dirt and dust, and rocks falling from the sky,” he said.
“It was a very confusing time: I didn’t know what had happened, I didn’t know how I’d got there, or what had just happened around me, and then when I got up on my elbows, I looked down and I saw that my legs were gone and I could see the blood coming out of me.
“I knew then what the situation was and what had just happened: I didn’t know how it had happened, but I knew what had happened. I was immediately drawing on the first-aid training that I’d got before heading over to Afghanistan, and trying to apply tourniquets and calling on the guys around me to conduct the first aid.”