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Military Cross hero races for recovery
AFTER surviving gunfire and bomb blasts in Afghanistan, Military Cross hero Corporal Sarah Bushbye is getting behind a racing car wheel as part of her battle against post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
The 28-year-old from Killingworth, Tyne and Wear, became only the third woman in history to be awarded a Military Cross for her heroic actions in Afghanistan in 2010.
She raced across open ground while under fire to give medical aid to four comrades injured by a Taliban suicide bomber, but the trauma of that last tour has led to Cpl Bushbye suffering from PTSD.
She has been receiving treatment at the Phoenix House Recovery Centre in Catterick Garrison and as part of her rehabilitation has joined the Help for Heroes Mission Motorsport team which held a track day at the Croft Circuit near Darlington today (October 19).
Cpl Bushbye said her involvement in the team was helping her recover from both the mental and physical injuries from her time in Afghanistan.
“I do have good and bad days,” she said.
“I have bad days where I have no confidence and I am feeling a bit scared about leaving the army, but doing something like Mission Motorsport rejuvenates me and I will feel better about things.
“You lose your confidence a lot with PTSD, if you are left to your own devices and don’t challenge yourself, you can become closed off.
“This (Mission Motorsport) brings you back into an environment where the people that you are with have gone through the same thing as you.”
Cpl Bushbye was under the national media spotlight when she received her Military Cross from The Queen at Buckingham Palace in November 2010.
Since then she has had an operation on her ankle and suffers from chronic back pain and arthritis in her hips as a result of carrying heavy equipment and the grueling regime of life on tour.
Despite this, she is determined to become a racing driver for Mission Motorsport and hopes her involvement as the first woman in the team will encourage other injured servicewomen to get in the driving seat.
She said: “I would love to race for the team, I’d love to come to Croft and race here properly, that is my aim.”
Jon Earp, development manager for Mission Motorsport, has high hopes for Cpl Bushbye and said: “She is the first woman in the team, she has got to prove herself but my intention is to put her in a race car and progress through to competitive racing.
“There is no reason why anything should hold her back, she has got the ability but it is very much about confidence,” added Mr Earp