Supermum Laura 'hid' injured arm for three years
on 13/10/2012 00:00:00
Laura was one of five soldiers who were injured when a mortar exploded during training at Kilworth Camp in Co Cork in Dec 1997.
The 60mm mortar was being loaded into the breech of the launcher when it exploded.
Laura, who was aged 21 at the time, was nearest the exploding missile.
"It didn't fire up, it fired back. It exploded through the barrel and it blew off my hand," said Laura.
The other soldiers who were injured were caught by flying shrapnel. Their injuries were not serious.
Laura was nominated for the award, organised by Supervalu in association with P&G and Laura Lynn, because of how she overcame her disability.
The busy mother of three young children has also found the time to help raise funds for a friend who has a disabled child.
Laura said she had no idea that her fiancé had nominated her for the award and was glad it acknowledged that it was tougher for her to cope with everyday parenting tasks.
"I don't think about doing things like tying up my daughter's hair, organising the uniforms or doing the ironing but I know it is harder for me," she said.
Laura had a cosmetic prosthesis but, after losing some weight over the years, it does not fit her arm any more.
She decided not to replace the prosthesis because of the cost involved.
"You know when you have young children you don't think of spending money on something like that.
"Even if I got a new one I probably would not wear it most of the time.
"My kids don't see anything different about me," she added.
Before the accident Laura, like many women her age, had loved fashion and socialising.
"I tended to shun away from everything that I used to do. I hid my injured arm for nearly three years wherever I went. Looking back, I see that I was stupid to do that," she said.
"I try to do everything now. I joined a boot camp and I did everything - even walking a tightrope. I find some way of managing things."
Laura said Brian never told her that he had nominated her for the award, but she was delighted that he had.
"He has been absolutely fantastic. Between himself, my mother and my family, I don't know how I would have got through the last few years - they have been absolutely brilliant."
Laura's nomination was one of 251 received for the award, now in its fourth year.