Marathon ambition of wounded hero

Kevin Foster

Kevin Foster

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A SOLDIER who cheated death in the Middle East wants to run the London Marathon to support the charity which cared for him.

Kevin Foster, of Buckhaven, escaped with his life after being shot through the head on a tour of duty in Afghanistan.

His sister Katie Foster is already doing the Edinburgh Marathon this month in support of Help For Heroes (H4H) and to raise awareness of its work for British service personnel wounded in Afghanistan and Iraq.

And Kevin (39), who is still fully mobile, despite his brain injury, wants to train and get in shape so that he and his sibling can tackle the London event side by side for H4H in April 2013.

Katie, of Buckhaven, has set up an online page for contributions and hopes also to enlist local business backing as she runs the Edinburgh Marathon on May 27.

She felt it was important to highlight the care given by H4H nurses and medical staff to surviving victims.

Most of the publicity focused on soldiers who had died, she said, but the nurses also had to provide a great deal of emotional care to surviving troops, who may have lost limbs or been severely maimed in other ways.

They had to explain to the soldiers what had happened to them and help them try to come to terms with their plight, she said.

Ex-Kirkland High pupil Kevin, of the Oxfordshire-based Royal Pioneer Corps, had been greatly touched by the care shown to him over the last 10 weeks at H4H’s rehabilitation centre in Headley Court.

However, his convalescence has already been tinged with tragedy.

Shortly after arriving for his first weekend at home with his wife and young family since the shooting, he was told two comrades he’d previously captained had been killed in Afghanistan, while a third was critically wounded.

Katie (34), who works as a sales administrator, said training for the London run would give Kevin a solid focus to get himself better and help him regain his drive and determination.

The hearing in his left ear is permanently gone and he has memory difficulties but, apart from that, his prognosis looks fairly good.

“It’s a good goal to aim at,” Katie added.

“The race is a year away, which should be ample time for him, because he was super, super fit before.”

Katie is now training around five or six nights a week for Edinburgh and will be joined by friends from Culture Health and Fitness in Methil, who are tackling the run for various charities.

Katie said the online support was going very well but she hoped businesses might want to support her as well.

Anyone wising to help can contact her on katiefoster69@hotmail.co.uk or at bmycharity.com/katiefoster