ARRC miracle soldier to compete in tonight's Paralympics
MIRACLE soldier private Derek Derenalagi has fought his way back from the brink to represent Great Britain in the Paralympics tonight.
A previous record-setter in the shot-put and javelin events in British and European competitions, the ARRC troop will compete for Paralympic glory in the F57 discus competition.
His survival while on deployment to Afghanistan in 2007 was considered a miracle by medics who feared he had died in an Improvised Explosion Device.
However, a doctor at Camp Bastion's hospital detected a barely-detectable pulse and quickly operated on him to save his life.
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Derek lost both his legs but is now fighting fit and speaking earlier this week said he couldn't wait to compete.
He said: "I watched the Paralympics in Beijing and it was fantastic.
"It has grown so much in four years and doesn't just raise awareness of Paralympians but of disabled people all over the world.
"I am so humbled to be a part of it."
Originally from the island nation of Fiji, Derenlagi joined the Royal Gloucester, Berkshire, and Wiltshire Regiment in 1999 before end up at Imjin Barracks.
Through his participation in a Ministry of Defence-sponsored, Help for Heroes-funded program called 'Battle Back,' Derenalagi went through an extensive, lengthy recovery following his return to the UK. Through his participation in this program, as well as a talent-spotting day at Headley Court, he was enrolled in the British Paralympic Association's (BPA's) Talent Transition Programme and has attended numerous BPA preparation camps to help develop and fulfil his potential as a British Paralympic athlete.