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Army August 2, 2012
Sgt Andrew Hetherington
INSPIRATIONAL 20-year-old ampu-
tee Pte Nathan Whittington has been
named Army's 2012 Blood Challenge
The driver from 10FSB lost his right
foot and subsequently most of his lower
right leg on November 27, 2010.
Life-saving donated blood supplies
were on standby but ultimately not
required during the operations on his leg,
but Pte Whittington still understands bet-
ter than most the importance of blood for
people with critical injuries.
Pte Whittington fell off a jet ski when
a water skiing tow rope caught around
his ankle in the accident in Townsville.
"I remember being under water," he
said. "I remember the rope being pulled
off, like it had loosened. I remember
floating to the surface and thinking,
'something's not right here'."
"My mate came over, and said
'what's wrong?' I said, 'I don't know,
my ankle's a bit sore', and lifted my foot
out of the water. He realised before I did
that my foot was gone.
"I remember waking up in the hospi-
tal and my sergeant and lieutenant were
there, and saying to them "do I still have
a job in the Army?"
As early as nine days after his acci-
dent in November 2010, Pte Whittington
pushed himself well ahead of his pro-
jected rehabilitation program and began
his own method of recovery.
"I was doing leg-raises with five kilos
of weight on my stump and I was also
doing push-ups, dips and everything to
try and keep fit," he said.
"I wanted to maintain my fitness and
people were telling me I had to slow
down, but I was killing it -- I just wanted
to do my own thing.
"I looked at it thinking this is who I
am now and I can't change that.
"There was no point sitting around on
the bed and I just didn't want a setback, I
wanted to keep going forward."
Just over 20 months later, after one
Knowing every drop counts
Donating is close to the heart of Army's 2012 Blood Challenge ambassador, after he lost a leg in a boating accident
Inspirational: Amputee Pte Nathan Whittington has been chosen as the Army's 2012 Blood Challenge
ambassador. Here he is taking a look around the Australian Red Cross Canberra Blood Donor Centre.
Photo by LS Paul Berry
If you donate regularly or
have received blood, we
want to hear from you.
Email Army at armynews@
share your story.
TELL US YOUR STORY
IT'S ALMOST TIME
THE 2012 Defence Organisation
Blood Challenge will be launched
this month and will run from Sep-
tember to November.
A partnership between Defence
and the Australian Red Cross Blood
Service has produced more than
5000 donations in the last three
years and potentially saved more
than 6000 lives.
Now in its fourth year, the Blood
Challenge is Australia's largest.
Navy, Army, Air Force and
Defence public ser vants employees
compete over a three-month period
each year to make the highest
number of blood donations.
of the best and fastest recoveries most of
his doctors have seen, Pte Whittington
has come a long way.
He's gone from worrying about keep-
ing his job after the accident to being
nominated for a coming junior leader
course and hoping to ultimately become
After adapting to a prosthetic leg
and meeting the high-performance man-
ager from the Australian Paralympics
Committee, he is now also in training
for Australian international team sport
selection in track and field. His special-
ity event is the 100m sprint.
"Next year there's the US Marine
Corps games for the wounded, injured
and ill and the Arafura Games in
Darwin," Pte Whittington said.
"Hopefully I'll make it on to the
Australian athletics team and to the
world championships in France in
"But my long-term goal is the 2016
Paralympics in Rio."
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