Feb 7, 2012

Hero marine reveals how he begged comrade to kill him after IED blast blew off three limbs

              Mark Ormrod at home in Devon with wife Becky, 25, and 15 week-old baby boy Mason

A hero Royal Marine who lost three limbs after kneeling on an IED in Afghanistan begged a comrade to shoot him moments after the blast.
Brave Mark Ormrod, 28, was serving in Helmand Province on Christmas Eve in 2007 when the explosion ripped off both his legs and his right arm.
Now fitted with artificial limbs, Mr Ormrod described in chilling detail the split-second his life changed forever - and how he begged for death.


               Rehabilitation after he lost both legs and one arm while serving in Afghanistan

Mr Ormrod said: 'I was lying naked and dying in the desert. I just thought I can’t live like this. I turned to the corporal and shouted: "Stick a bullet through my head".
'I was serious. I remember lying there thinking that I would feel like someone had punched me in the back of the head and then it would go black and it would be okay.'

 

Mr Ormrod was second-in-command of a patrol circling their remote Forward Operating Base in Helmand province.
After nearly three hours, they had regrouped a couple of hundred feet from the main gate and were surveying the path ahead.
Mr Ormrod said: 'I was in a bit of a hollow and I had my three guys looking out where I needed them.
'Then I knelt on this thing and it went off.
'When I detonated the IED all the sand and shingle was blown up and created a sandstorm.'
The blast had torn off three of Mark's limbs.



Speaking of those first seconds, Mark said: 'Initially I had no idea what I had done. I thought we had been hit by a mortar.
'When I tried to turn around I couldn’t.


 

'I went into a dream-like state, where I knew something was happening but it just didn’t feel real.
'I looked to one side and I could see my body armour had been blown off and was lying on the ground. I looked at one of the lads and I could see he was in shock. Then I looked down and I knew it was bad.'



Mark was serving in Helmand Province in December 2007


At this point Mark begged a colleague to put a bullet in his brain.
He said: 'I remember lying there thinking that I would feel like someone had punched me in the back of the head and then it would go black and it would be okay.'


 

His comrades called ‘man down’ and a medic was rushed out from the base just a few minutes away.
Life-saving tourniquets were applied to his limbs and, despite the blood loss, Mark was able to take in the scene unfolding around him.
He can recall being lifted on to a vehicle and even trying to reach after a man who fell out when it suddenly accelerated.
Back at Birmingham’s Selly Oak Hospital, where all wounded servicemen are treated, Mark began his long road to recovery.
It was painful and slow, not least because he was the first triple amputee from Afghanistan who had survived their injuries.
He said: 'I hated being in the wheelchair. People will just blank you out. They don’t see you and they don’t realise they’re doing it.'
Mr Ormrod now has hi-tech prosthetic legs and his wheelchair has been consigned to the shed of his home. 
The former Royal Marine with Taunton-based 40 Commando now has a 14-week-old son, Mason, with his wife Becky who he proposed to while in hospital after the blast.
He said: 'I think everything happens for a reason.
'If I had died that day, then Mason wouldn’t be here.
'Before I was blown up, my life was pretty rubbish. When I was on leave I would stay out all night and sleep on my mates’ sofas.
'I used to be a lot more selfish. I was a different person. Since this all happened I am more positive.
'I’ve not got any internal injuries. I think I’ve got the best of a bad situation.'
Mr Ormrod is working for the Royal Marines Association, a charitable group where he can support former servicemen in exactly the same way he has been helped.
This year he has set himself the challenge of cycling nearly 3,000 miles round the British coastline.
The event - Tour de Forces - will raise money for four military charities and sets off from Plymouth for the anti-clockwise circumnavigation.
 
                              Seconds after the blast, Mr Ormrod asked a comrade to kill him