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Life-changing gift to Royal Navy rehabilitation centre

28 February 2019
Barely six months after being told he would never walk properly again following a serious accident, a young Lichfield businessman has donated his £3,000 electric wheelchair to a Royal Navy rehabilitation centre.

Samuel Leeds, 27, shattered his kneecap on rocks after being thrown down a waterfall while water-rafting last July in Uganda.

The incident happened during a trip to check on the progress of his charity project to bring fresh water to a remote village.

After undergoing emergency surgery Samuel was flown back to the UK ten days later where he received the grim prognosis from doctors.

Samuel has gifted us something which we call a ‘force enabler’. It will be a great asset to very seriously injured, or ill, assigned ranks and will help make life a lot simpler for them and their families.

Warrant Officer 1 Miles Hall

But while still in plaster he showed his determination to recover by hobbling up The Wrekin without walking aids.

He has only used the wheelchair a few times and decided to give it to a worthy cause. Two members of Hasler Company – a specialist Royal Marine unit which supports sick and injured personnel – travelled to Lichfield from their base at HMS Drake in Plymouth to collect the chair.

Warrant Officer 1 Miles Hall and Sergeant Paul Rickard, who both served in Iraq and Afghanistan with 3 Commando Brigade, said their 450-mile roundtrip was well worth the effort because of what it would mean to struggling servicemen.

“This is a lasting legacy as we will keep ownership of the chair,” said WO1 Hall.

“Samuel has gifted us something which we call a ‘force enabler’. It will be a great asset to very seriously injured, or ill, assigned ranks and will help make life a lot simpler for them and their families.

“Over time the wheelchair will help many individuals. In the first instance it will be used by a young helicopter pilot who has been diagnosed with cancer. He is in his mid 30s and is married with children.”

Samuel is chairman of Property Investors UK, one of the country’s leading training companies. He left school at 16 and is now a multi-millionaire with his YouTube channel recently attracting its one millionth visitor.

The link with Hasler company was down to one of his students who attended the Property Investors Crash Course and is now a member of the firm’s academy.

“Joe Lane came to us to learn how to invest in property after recovering from a horrendous head injury he sustained while skiing,” said Samuel.

“Joe was a troop commander in an elite Marines fighting force in Iraq and Afghanistan, but after the accident had to learn how to talk and walk again.

“He told me how Hasler Company had aided his recovery with its expertise and facilities. At one time there were fears he would remain in a vegetative state, but he is now a member of our academy and is doing brilliantly.

“He has been investing in property and already has enough profit coming in through rents to cover his bills. He is only in his 30s and has a wife and young child.

“My accident made me realise how important the right support can help recovery. After hearing Joe talk about Hasler Company I decided they were the best people to have my wheelchair.”

Hasler Naval Service Recovery Centre was opened in 2009 at a cost of £23m. It is known for its expert care and first-class facilities.

The unit takes its name from Lieutenant Colonel Herbert George ‘Blondie’ Hasler, one of the WW2 Cockleshell Heroes.

The heroics of Blondie Hasler and his colleagues led to the formation of the Special Boat Service, the Navy’s equivalent of the SAS.

As a thank you for his gift, Samuel has been invited to a regimental dinner later this year.

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