His family were told that Lance Cpl Sean Donlan would almost certainly die after a rocket propelled grenade almost claimed his life in Afghanistan.
The 24-year-old soldier from Gomersal was on respite and speaking on the phone to his girlfriend when the armoured vehicle he was crouched next to was targeted in the devastating attack in April last year.
Shrapnel from the explosion passed through his skull and damaged his brain leaving the soldier almost paralysed down one side.
His family were told that he might not survive the attack and part of Lance Cpl Donlan’s skull was removed.
The brave soldier underwent countless gruelling operations but today he wears his poppy with pride.
Lance Cpl Donlan was presented with Leeds’s first poppy by the Lord Mayor of Leeds at a special ceremony yesterday (Oct 26) in The Light Shopping Centre.
During the ceremony pupils from The Cockburn School Choir joined forces with the pipes and drums of the City of Leeds Pipe Band support by air cadets from Yeadon.