We are lucky to have Simon Weston, Falklands veteran and charity campaigner, as our patron. The former Welsh Grenadier Guardsman is well-known for his struggle to overcome terrible burn injuries on board, Sir Galahad, when it came under fire in the Falklands conflict, killing 22 of his platoon. The former Welsh Guardsman suffered 48 per cent burns and has endured years of reconstructive surgery, including 70 major surgical procedures. An inspirational figure, his message is not to be defined by the conflict but by what he has done with his life since.
His courage and charity work were recognised with an OBE in the 1992 Queen’s Birthday Honour’s list. The British Army veteran has been the subject of five major BBC television documentaries: Simon’s War, Simon’s Peace, Simon’s Triumph, Simon’s Return and Simon’s Journey. Simon, who joined the Welsh Guards at the age of 16, has also written best-selling autobiographies.
Professor Porter was the consultant responsible for co-ordinating the care of British troops injured in Afghanistan. He is senior trauma surgeon at the Royal Centre for Defence Medicine at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Birmingham and Honorary Professor of Clinical Traumatology at the University of Birmingham.
Professor Porter was knighted in the 2010 New Year Honours list for his work in developing trauma treatment for troops injured in both Iraq and Afghanistan.
He qualified from St Thomas’ Hospital in London in 1974 before being jointly appointed to the Birmingham Accident Hospital and Selly Oak Hospital in 1986. He was awarded a professorship by University Hospitals Birmingham NHS Foundation Trust, the University of Birmingham and the Royal Centre for Defence Medicine in 2005.
Professor Porter has several other roles, including chairman of the Trauma Care Council, medical director of the West Midlands Central Accident Resuscitation (Care) team and a member of the Defence Scientific Advisory Committee.
He became patron of Woundcare4Heroes to help bridge the gap between wound care treatment for serving soldiers and those who have been discharged.