A FORMER soldier whose legs were crushed while on duty will battle through the pain barrier to run the Chester Marathon.
Philip Rose, from Bryn y Baal, hopes to complete the 26 miles within six hours to raise money for two charities close to his heart.
He spent two months in hospital after a horrific accident on tour in Northern Ireland when he was hit by a tank.
The 42 year-old is taking part to raise money for Claire House Children’s Hospice and St Luke’s Hospice, in memory of his father and three-year-old step nephew.
His nephew Jack Diggory, who had been severely disabled, died after suffering a lung infection in January.
Mr Rose’s dad, Willis, died from lung cancer aged 70 two years ago.
Philip said: “I can run 12 miles, no problem, as I’m fit. But after that my joints get stiff and it becomes difficult and very painful to move.
“I hope the pain is bearable because I intend to finish, even if I have to walk, as I’m raising money for charity. As long as I do it in six hours I’ll be alright.
“I didn’t get to see Jack much as I was away with the Army but he was a happy little chappy and never any trouble to anyone.
“He brought joy to everybody’s life. He didn’t have much of a life himself, but the care at Claire House was wonderful and gave him a sense of joy. So, this is a way of giving something back and remembering him.”
Philip’s girlfriend Tina Croke is a volunteer counsellor at St Luke’s and her father Dave Ludwig, 73, died last month from stomach cancer.
It has given Philip an extra spur to complete the course.
He said: “Both charities have been there for us in the past and now I want to be there for them.”
Philip served for 23 years in the Army including in Bosnia and Iraq, before retiring last May.
While serving in Northern Ireland in 1994, a 14-tonne army truck, which had been left without the handbrake being applied, crushed him against another vehicle.
The vehicle was unattended at the time and part of the front grills was missing otherwise Mr Rose believes it would have killed him.
He said: “I went into shock and don’t remember much of it. I was in hospital for two months and then slowly started walking again. It crushed my ligaments and tendons but, surprisingly, not the bones.
“I have scar tissue on my thigh and sometimes the joints are painful.”
Undeterred Mr Rose then returned to Northern Ireland to complete his tour.
Philip’s sister, Nicola Doswell, who is the step grandmother of Jack, said she was proud of him.
She said: “It’s fantastic what he’s doing. He has more energy than the rest of us.
He’s overcome his injuries and is very brave – an inspiration. It’s a very positive thing to do and I’m very proud of him.”
Philip will be running in the marathon on Sunday.
To sponsor Philip, visit www.justgiving.com/Philip-Rose0, for St Luke’s, or www.justgiving.com/Philip-Rose1, for Claire House.
See full story in the Chester Leader