A SOLDIER injured in battle has been able to realise his dream of riding his motorbike around a world-famous racetrack thanks to a Bournemouth Rotary Club.
Cpl Andrew Garthwaite was badly injured in Afghanistan when a Taliban rocket-propelled grenade took off his right arm and killed one of his comrades.
He is believed to be the first person in Britain to be fitted with a thought-controlled prosthetic limb and has been dubbed the Bionic Man. As a keen biker, Andrew had always dreamt of riding his Suzuki GSXR 600 around the famous Nurburgring and this can now come true thanks to modifications on his bike.
The Rotary Club of Bournemouth East Cliff raised £600 from a sponsored quarter marathon in aid of The National Association for Bikers with a Disability. Former President of the rotary club, Paul Hodgkinson said: “I’m also a motorbike enthusiast and it was during my presidential year that I decided one of my charities would be The National Association for Bikers with a Disability.
“We donated the money we raised from the quarter marathon to the National Association and they highlighted a deserving cause. Numerous modifications were made to the bike and all the controls on the right handlebar were moved.”
Andrew has spent two years learning how to move the prosthetic arm and grip objects after a six-hour operation to have the limb wired into his body at a medical facility in Vienna.
The soldier said he was “lost for words” and “honoured” to have been chosen as the first person from the UK to undergo this cutting-edge technique in the field of bionics.