Stevenage soldier cheats death after being shot in the neck in Afghanistan
A SOLDIER who cheated death after he was shot in the neck in a gunfight in Afghanistan has been described as the miracle of Helmand . Andrew Ferguson, of Sish Close in Stevenage, is with 1st Battalion The Royal Anglian Regiment and was serving in Helmand
A SOLDIER who cheated death after he was shot in the neck in a gunfight in Afghanistan has been described as "the miracle of Helmand".
Andrew Ferguson, of Sish Close in Stevenage, is with 1st Battalion The Royal Anglian Regiment and was serving in Helmand Province when he was seriously injured.
His mother, Anji Kerr, said: "Apparently at the time they thought all the gunmen were on the ground, so they scrambled up onto a roof to get shelter. They saw a sniper on the roof and, as they were getting down, Andrew was hit.
"He said he didn't immediately realise he had been shot, but felt pressure on the back of his neck.
"The others were shouting 'man down' and he didn't realise they were talking about him.
"He didn't realise until he put his hand to his neck that blood was pumping out."
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Mrs Kerr said a helicopter came quickly to airlift her son to an Afghan hospital.
"By the time he phoned me himself he had had surgery," she said. "The bullet had gone straight through and missed his vertebrae by millimetres.
"When he told me I had a physical sensation of the blood running from my head. It's one of the few times I've been lost for words."
Lance Corporal Ferguson, father to seven-year-old Joshua and five-month-old Alfie, was flown back to the UK where he underwent further surgery at Selly Oak Hospital in Birmingham.
The 31-year-old, who was on his second tour after previously serving in Iraq, was shot in December. He is now back at work on light duties at Pirbright barracks in Surrey. He is undergoing physiotherapy to get his neck moving freely again.
L/Cpl Ferguson has lost two close comrades in Helmand Province - Adam Drane and Robert Hayes. Lance Corporal Drane, killed in December, was the 100th British soldier to die in Afghanistan last year. L/Cpl Ferguson was with him when he died. Private Hayes was killed earlier this month.
Mrs Kerr said: "He does wonder why he survived and they did not. We grieve for those boys and pray for their families' peace, but to me Andrew is a miracle - the miracle of Helmand."
She added: "I am so proud of him. I'm immensely proud of all of them. Andrew desperately wants to get back out there. He wants to be with his team.