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Dad-of-two swaps hospital for war zone nursing

PUBLISHED: 14:17 04 March 2010 | UPDATED: 17:39 25 August 2010

Captain Sean Wardle (44), from Bexley Heath, Nursing Officer, Grenadier Guards Battle Group.

Captain Sean Wardle (44), from Bexley Heath, Nursing Officer, Grenadier Guards Battle Group.

AN ARMY nurse who works in a busy community hospital is leading a medical team in one of the most violent parts of Afghanistan.

AN ARMY nurse who works in a busy community hospital is leading a medical team in one of the most violent parts of Afghanistan.

Captain Sean Wardle, 44, from Bexleyheath, is more used to the wards of Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Woolwich, where he works, but he is currently in Helmand Province.

It is the first time in Afghanistan for the Nursing Officer for the Grenadier Guards Battle Group, who is based at the Patrol Base Sharzad, where he is working with three combat medical technicians.

The father-of-two, who was stationed in Iraq in 2003, is on the ground with the troops with the team that treats locals at the patrol base who are injured in roadside bombs.

Captain Wardle said: "Obviously I am cautious when I am out on the ground, but I don't get nervous from the medical side. It is the job I am trained to do.

"Just after New Year two young boys were brought in who had been involved in an IED (improvised explosive device) explosion. One was killed and the other sustained very severe injuries including a partial amputation of his left hand and left ankle.

"Team medics on the ground stopped the bleeding and then got the casualty 400metres back to where I was. From there I went through my drills to check the bleeding, breathing and wounds. I stabilised him and got him on to a helicopter to the main hospital. Between the team medics and me we gave him the best chance possible of surviving.

"It has been a great learning experience which I wouldn't get at home. I really have to use my judgement and it hones my skills far more than being in a big hospital would."

Mr Wardle followed the family tradition and joined the Territorial Army in 1992, with 265 Squadron, 71st (Yeomanry) Signal Regiment, based in Bexleyheath. His great grandfather fought in World War One, his grandfather fought in World War Two and his father served with the Ghurkhas.

marina.soteriou@archant.co.uk

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