A city man who lost a leg after suffering a serious injury when in the RAF is targeting a place at the Paralympics.

Richard Davies, from Costessey, had his life turned upside down by the 2019 incident while serving as an RAF Corporal, 10 years into his military career.

Richard, now aged 37, was participating in a cargo moving exercise while stationed in Cyprus when an aircraft engine transportation trailer was towed into the back of his left foot, which collapsed in on itself.

Norwich Evening News: Richard had his foot amputated in 2021 after two years of agonyRichard had his foot amputated in 2021 after two years of agony (Image: Irwin Mitchell)

Two years later, after a four-hour surgery, two infections and months of agonising pain, Richard went through an under-knee amputation in July 2021.

He said: "I tried pain therapy and took medication, but nothing worked; I was constantly in pain.  Just wearing shoes was uncomfortable and my foot hurt even when I laughed.

"I found myself being short and snappy with my family and I was upset and fed up of missing out on quality time with them.  So when I was told I would need to have my foot amputated at some stage, I decided to have it done as soon as I could.

"The surgery, in some ways, gave me my life back. Of course I had to adapt how I did things, but it’s become easier over time and I want to make others aware of what’s possible when you put your mind to it."

Norwich Evening News: His surgery helped Richard get his life backHis surgery helped Richard get his life back (Image: Irwin Mitchell)

Richard, originally from Cardiff, was a keen swimmer at the age of 15 but gave it up to focus on his career, and joined the RAF as a Ground Support Engineer and General Technician in 2009 when he was 21.

He had always wondered whether he should have continued swimming, and applied for the Invictus Games in 2023 as a way of putting his "demons to rest". 

He went on to win four gold medals in four swimming events.

Norwich Evening News: Richard went on to win four gold medals in his swimming events at the Invictus Games in 2023Richard went on to win four gold medals in his swimming events at the Invictus Games in 2023 (Image: Irwin Mitchell)

At the same games, he was awarded joint sixth place in rowing, setting a new personal best, and he also came ninth in archery.

Now, Richard is undergoing a trial in the sport with the aim of competing at the Paralympics in Los Angeles in 2028.

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Richard said: "I’m enjoying life again and I can’t wait to see what it brings.

Norwich Evening News: Richard's wife, Toni, and daughter, PaigeRichard's wife, Toni, and daughter, Paige (Image: Irwin Mitchell)

"After winning four golds in swimming, I decided to hang up my trunks as I don’t think I could improve on that, and I’m now into my archery and snowboarding.

"My son Rhys is also a fan of archery and when he turns seven, he’ll be able to join the same club as me. It’s a great father-and-son bonding experience for us both.

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"My injury put an end to my military career and I missed it for a long time, but now I know there are so many other opportunities for me out there and I feel like I can look to the future with some certainty and security."

Norwich Evening News: Following his settlement, Richard now feels that he can can live life knowing me and my family are looked afterFollowing his settlement, Richard now feels that he can can live life knowing me and my family are looked after (Image: Irwin Mitchell)

This comes after his military injury lawyers at Irwin Mitchell secured him an undisclosed settlement from the Ministry of Defence which will help fund his lifelong care and treatment and meet his prosthetic and housing needs. 

"The settlement has also helped pay for a bungalow and car to suit my needs, as well as prosthetics and wheelchairs," said Richard.

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"I can live life knowing me and my wife, Toni, son Rhys, aged six, and three-year-old daughter Paige, are looked after."

This October, he is taking on The Snowman Trek in Bhutan with a fellow military amputee - and they are aiming to break the world record as the first and fastest amputees to do so.

The challenge will take around 32 to 35 days, with the pair hoping to raise £100,000 for the Royal British Legion and Blesma, the limbless veterans charity.