As part of CITC celebration week, we take a look at the story of Mike Swindells who took part in our "One City Disability Sports" programme.
Mike Swindells, from Wythenshawe, served in the Armed Forces for five years.
While on a mission in Afghanistan with his comrades from the 1st Battalion Mercian Regiment, Mike was injured when an IED (improvised explosive device) exploded, leading to Mike losing his left foot and having to have his leg amputated to just below the knee.
Mike also suffered injuries to his right leg which led to over 20 operations, including removing shrapnel from his legs.
But instead of feeling sorry for himself, Mike believes he is one of the luckiest men on the planet.
“The lads told me that the device contained about 6kg of explosives but only 2kg went off,” he said.
“In my mind that saved my life, the first thing I said to my dad when I woke up was: 'I'm so lucky to be alive – that's all that matters'.
“I'd have been dead if the whole thing had gone up – it's like someone was watching over me.”
Since leaving the Army, Mike has been regularly involved with City in the Community’s Disability Sports programs and was a mascot for an MCFC home match.
Mike now plays for City’s PAN Disability Team where people with a variety of disabilities all compete together.
Mike reflected: “Getting involved in the project did have an impact on my life, it’s made me realise I can still do stuff minus my injury that I could do when I was able bodied."
Recently, Mike has enrolled on one of our Health programs – "Success through Sport" where he is taking part in regular sport sessions, health and employment workshops with an NHS Health Trainer, and will be working towards achieving his FA Level 1 Certificate in Coaching Football.
The next step for Mike in his involvement with City in the Community is to volunteer on a new Disability Awareness project whereby Mike will be attending school sessions with our staff to raise the awareness of different disabilities, the impact it has on people socially and emotionally, and to tell his inspiring story.