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Monthly News Bulletin

Back to 2004 News Archive

Soldier Making Miracle Recovery

THE FAMILY of a Stranraer soldier critically injured in Iraq spoke of their relief this week as their "hero" makes a miracle recovery in hospital.

John Stonham was given less than a five per cent chance of survival after being run over by an Iraqi tank in February. British officers never even expected him to last the flight home to hospital in Oxford.

But in the last three months the 19-year-old Argyll and Sutherland Highlander has come off a life support machine and is now recovering "bit by bit" in hospital in Dumfries.

Speaking to the Free Press this week, Richard Stonham, who is married to John's mum Caroline and has looked after the young squaddie since he was a toddler, said the recovery had been miraculous.

"When you think about what happened to John out there and the injuries he received then it is nothing short of a miracle that he has survived," he said.

"His body was crushed under a tank and his injuries were horrendous.

"He has been through major surgery and is a lucky, lucky boy. He is recovering bit by bit, but we are just thankful that he has pulled through at all."

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