War hero who lost both legs in Afghanistan gets special short prostheses to help him work as a joiner

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A WAR hero who lost both legs in Afghanistan has been provided with a special set of short prosthetic limbs to help him work as a joiner.

Brave David Birrell regularly had to take off his standard prostheses to work at lower levels or on the floor.

The former Black Watch soldier even nicknamed himself “Davie No Legs” as a result of having to labour on his stumps.

david birrell joiner on his stumps
David is now the butt of good-natured jokes by pals.

But David, from Dunbar, East Lothian, is finding work a lot easier after he was given an extra pair of legs over a foot shorter than the originals.

And while the new pins provide endless amusement to his work pals, David is delighted he no longer has to get legless at work.

The 33-year-old father of four was blown up in an IED attack in 2010 which killed his Afghan interpreter outright. David felt suicidal during his long recovery process but was eventually able to resume his career as a joiner.

He explained: “Whenever I needed to do anything on the floor, getting closer to floor boards, laying laminate flooring, I just took them off and lay them there.”

Pictures show David working on floorboards with his prosthetics chucked to one side.

But that all changed earlier this year when the new legs were fitted.

He said: “I’ve got smaller legs now so I don’t need to take them off.”

A hilarious snap shows a noticeably shorter David working at a wall while a pal smirks in the foreground and pretends to pat him on the head.

David admitted that he usually takes his legs off during breaks to give him a rest.

It’s just a laugh at work – legs are just lying about everywhere,” he said.

david birrell afghanistan war veteran
The 33-year-old father of four was blown up in an IED attack in 2010.

It’s obviously hard on the legs, so you just have to come to terms with it. Mind over matter is a huge thing.”

Davie also described the reaction he had from the public since the explosion as “remarkable” and how he helps others in the same situation as himself.

He added: “Everytime I put up a post it’s pretty remarkable what I receive.

The only thing I can do is help others who are battling with it to keep going.

You need to keep going with a reason to live for. You need to have ambitions so you have something to grasp.

I got my kids to live for, that’s the reason for me to keep going.”

David served in the black watch for nine years before joining the 1 SCOTS, The Royal Scots Borderers, 1st Battalion The Royal Regiment of Scotland.

He explained how the legs have been “really beneficial” making his trade work more accessible.

I usually use them on building sites.

It’s been really beneficial, because I can bend on my foot and sit on my leg.”

David also revealed how his legs, which were funded by the NHS due to his services for the country in the military, make him a whole foot and nine inches smaller.

He said: “I’m usually about 5’8/5’9 with the standard prosthetic legs and four foot with the shorter ones.

People find it funny. They’re unsure what to think of it at first. One day they’re like ‘god he’s a midget’ the next I’m up to their eye level.”

 
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