SAS veteran Chris Ryan has described the gruesome nature of some of the injuries he sustained while completing the military’s record escape mission in Iraq.
The action man-turned author was a leading member of the ill-fated Bravo Two Zero mission whose members attempted to escape Iraq after they were compromised.
Chris was the only member of the group to evade capture, with three killed and a further four, including Andy McNab subject to gruesome interrogation techniques – including being forced to eat their own poo.
But, despite maintaining his freedom, the SAS veteran still suffered severe injuries and almost didn't make it out alive.
Speaking recently to the Happy Hour podcast, Chris explained that the desert trek had been the “longest escape and evasion mission” in military history, and saw him walking over 200 miles in eight nights through the freezing Iraq desert.
After walking 40 kilometres a night, Chris remembered he would lie “shivering” in hiding, and this had devastating consequences for his health.
“Throughout the period of that week I might nod off, but I used to wake up shaking violently because that’s your body’s mechanism to keep you alive,” he recalled.
It wasn’t long before days of trekking through the cold and waking up under a duvet of snow began to take its toll on Chris’ body.
“It was as if we had aged – I think I was probably 28 at the time – I felt like I was 70 year-old guy riddled with arthritis. I couldn’t feel my feet or my hands, couldn’t pick my rifle up,” he said.
“When I’m lying down, I started to develop bedsores on my back, the sides of my leg and my elbows.
“The first night because we’d done a big 40 miler, I blistered my feet, and those blisters started to go septic. I knew my toenails had come off, but I didn’t realise how bad the blisters had become until I escaped.”
Chris’ unfortunate situation was worsened when he mistakenly drank some contaminated water, and he remembered that he even began to smell like “roadkill”.
“When I squeezed my fingernails, there was pus coming out, and when I sucked in my mouth, I had a mouthful of blood.
“When I went to sit down and lift my feet off the ground, you could just feel the pain coming off from my feet down to my legs and it was nearly orgasmic… It must have looked quite comical because I would shuffle on my feet very slowly until my feet went numb again and I could start walking.”
Despite these setbacks, Chris eventually made it to the Syrian border, where he was helped by a friendly commander to get cleaened up and return home.
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