An elite 'Red Devil' British paratrooper has been seriously injured in a horror high-speed flying accident in the south of France.
Lance corporal Lee Crudgington, 38, was on holiday with partner Katy when he had the accident while speed flying on July 2.
Speed flying is an extreme air sport that involves quickly descending from heights, such as mountains, with a small parachute.
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The dad-of-two who suffered a broken pelvis and severed aorta, is currently being treated in a French hospital, his family says.
With insurers unable to cover his fees, soldiers' charity Support Our Paras is trying to raise £200,000 to cover his medical fees and repatriation costs.
The fundraising page had raised £29,000 as of Thursday (July 14) morning.
Lee has 17 years of service in the military, serving in Iraq and Afghanistan, is part of the Parachute Regiment and the British Army's elite Red Devils parachute display team, and has done over 5,000 skydiving jumps.
The British Army said it is unable to support Lee financially until he returns to the UK as his injuries occurred outside of active duty.
A military insider said the regiment had sent staff to Lee's hospital in France to help with translation.
The source added that Lee's recovery will be fully supported in the UK with the aim of bringing him back to service.
Lee's partner Katy wrote on Facebook on Tuesday: "Lee has survived an extremely difficult injury as he severed his aorta and underwent emergency surgery, the fact he is still here to fight to the next stage is a testament to his character!"
Support Our Paras wrote on the fundraising page: "On top of mounting foreign medical costs, Lee will need a specialist aeromedical team to fly him back to the UK, where he will undergo further surgery and start a long period of rehabilitation.
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"Support Our Paras are committed to supporting Lee with his medical costs and repatriation, but would welcome any contributions towards the total."
A British Army spokesperson said: “Our thoughts are with LCpl Lee Crudgington and his family.
“Service personnel who take part in adventurous activities abroad while off-duty need their own private insurance cover as this is not provided by the Ministry of Defence.”
The fundraising page can be found by visiting Crudgington Appeal
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