I read an article in the Portsmouth Evening News about a young man called Mark Ormrod. He had written a book called Man Down, received an award for it at the Royal Marine Barracks in Portsmouth. What was so amazing that all this took place after he became the first triple amputee out of Afghanistan.

Mark was exactly the sort of person I wanted to  include in my Tactile portrait collection. ‘I AM NOT WHO YOU THINK I AM’.

I read his book and  wrote to his publisher explaining why I wanted to meet him and about the collection.  In a matter of days I heard from Mark and I travelled to Plymouth to meet him.

The first thing you feel when you see someone who has endured such  terrible injuries is a great sadness for them and their loss.  Mark was able to speak with such raw honesty, I could only see the man and not the injuries. He told me that he got married after the loss of his limbs, and  was determined to dance with his wife  on their  wedding day in his ‘new’ legs’.  He spoke of his daughter and the new baby who was due any day.   He spoke of all that went before him, a life of hope and love.

Mark was very generous of heart and told me  at length about his life before the injuries, what he had to endure in hospital, rehabilitation, and adapting to life with two ‘new’ legs and an arm.  He also told me when he got his new running legs he took part in a marathon in America.  He is formidable.   Here was a man with horrific injuries who has fought his demons and  against all odds, has come out the other side  even stronger.

In the portrait I showed only  a glimpse of his left arm. If you saw him in a pub, you may glance at the good looking young man. Then when he stood up you would see he is still the good looking young man, just minus two legs and an arm.

Mark is a force to be reckoned with, He has his own company and is a Motivational Speaker.  I urge you to read his book Man Down.