A former serviceman is set to mark his 40th birthday by launching a fundraising drive in support of NHS services that aided his recovery from serious injury.
Michael Wittmann, of Staffordshire, aims to raise at least £1,000 through a one-man series of events, beginning with a collection at his 40th birthday party next month.
The father-of-two is also making plans for a sponsored cycle ride and a charity walk in Switzerland and intends to split all proceeds between West Midlands Rehabilitation Centre and the trauma unit at Queen Elizabeth Hospital.
The neighbouring centres in Selly Oak, Birmingham have worked in partnership to treat and rehabilitate Michael since November 2011 after a long-term knee injury, sustained more than 20 years ago, flared up causing excruciating pain.
“The trauma to my knee happened in March 1991 during military manoeuvres for the first Gulf War,” recalls the former vehicle mechanic with the Royal Electrical Mechanical Engineers.
“Over 20 years, I had several operations including the complete removal of the patella, the insertion of synthetic fibres to increase stability and, finally, a total knee replacement.”
Unfortunately, none of this was successful and in late 2011, Michael was referred to QE where the option of amputation and a prosthetic limb was first discussed.