Derek Derenalagi

From NW London

Hero: Derek Derenalagi

Derek Derenalagi, 2 MERCIAN, is a larger than life Fijian soldier who fell victim of anti-tank mine in Afghanistan in July 2007.

Paralysed at the side of the road, medics immediately pronounced him dead. He wasn’t, but the damage to his once fit and healthy body was so bad that it was necessary to amputate both his legs.

It was a disaster for someone who thrived on being active. He was a keen rugby player, who once played competitively in his homeland, Fiji, as well as for the British Armed Forces team.

“I am trying really hard to get into the GB Paralympics squad,” Derek, oozing confidence and optimism, said. “My goal is to be on the podium come London 2012.

I have broken two British records already in shot put, and I’m also trying to do the same in discus and javelin.”

Derek currently lives in an Army quarter at Bushey, Hertfordshire, with wife. Two of his children are currently in Fiji, but will join their parents when suitable adapted accommodation can be found.

Derek wanted to buy his Army quarter but as it is situated in an expensive area of the London commuter belt the asking price and underpinning works required have made this unviable.

HHT is now seeking to purchase a suitable property for Derek on the outskirts of London, which would enable Derek to be re-united with his family and lead on with his new life.

Watch Derek’s interview here >>