A SOLDIER who lost both his legs in Afghanistan still plans to walk down the aisle at his wedding, with the help of hi-tech artificial legs.
Private Paul Lambert, of the 1 Scots, had both of his legs blasted off in an explosion in 2009, which also stopped his heart.
The 31-year-old, from Polwarth, Edinburgh, is now eagerly awaiting the arrival of new “C Legs” before he marries fiancée Gillian Spence.
The couple revealed how the soldier vowed to be able to walk down the aisle after he proposed to her while recovering in hospital from the horrific blast.
Ms Spence, 32, said: “It’s important to Paul that he can walk down the aisle.
“And if that’s what he wants then it’s important to me, too.”
Pvt Lambert said: “We can’t put a date on anything. There could be hold-ups with the next operation, I don’t want anyone disappointed.”
Describing how his new legs will work, he said: “You need to charge them up, they are programmed using Bluetooth.
“It’s like hydraulics inside so when you put one leg down, it knows when to kick. All really hi-tech.”
He added: “I always say I’m not unlucky to be in this position.
“I say ‘no, I’m very lucky.’”
Pvt Lambert stepped on a Taliban landmine in the Wisthan area of Helmand province in late 2009, which was known for having a large amount of IEDs.
As well as losing both his legs he suffered massive internal injuries, and as a helicopter airlifted him to safety his heart stopped.
Medics desperate to save him had to cut his torso open from groin to neck and massage his heart back to life.
Amazingly Pvt Lambert survived the blast, and spent three weeks in intensive care in Selly Oak Hospital in Birmingham.
But it was only a few weeks later when Pvt Lambert asked Gillian’s father for her hand in marriage.
Ms Spence said: “My dad apparently said ‘Wait, you’re on a lot of morphine, son, are you sure?’”
He proposed by lowering his hospital bed as far as it would go, as if he was kneeling.
After she tearfully accepted, he made a deal to be able to walk down the aisle by the time of the wedding.
Ms Spence said: “I’m totally head over heels about him. The thought of not being there with him is what scares me.”
She continued: “There has been a lot of adjustment in our lives, but we were so close to losing Paul that you just think, ‘Well it could have been so much worse.’
“When he was in Headley Court in a coma, the doctors said there could be brain damage, he’d gone so long without oxygen.
“When he did wake up, he turned and said ‘hiya’ and it was unbelievable.
“So everything since then has been moving forward and getting better.”
Paul was helped by ABF The Soldiers’ Charity, which gives grants to serving and former soldiers.
Next month a group of soldiers and civilians will take part in the 52-mile Alliance Trust Cateran Yomp across the Highlands to raise money for the charity.
For more details and to register go to www.soldierscharity.org/yomp.