A WOUNDED war hero is anxiously waiting to find out if he will have to have his leg amputated.
Soldier James Cairns, 22, was shot in the leg in a Taliban attack in Afghanistan.
The Army private survived 16 hours of surgery, five blood transfusions and a skin graft.
But, in just under a week, James is to find out whether having his leg amputated could be the best option for his recovery.
The former Newsome High School pupil said: “I just have to get on with it; it’s not that bad.
“It is just a waiting game at the moment and I suppose I am a bit anxious about the appointment on January 3.
“I have seen the x-rays and there is bolt after bolt in my leg.
“Next week the doctors could decide to operate right then and there or they may tell me that it would be better to keep my leg.
“I don’t really know what the outcome will be.
“If I have to have it off, it will only be below the knee and the doctors who I will see will be able to do lots of stuff to help.
“They are used to dealing with these sorts of injuries.
“If I keep it, it is more than likely that I will have a permanent disability and I might not be able to walk properly but I will just have to wait and see what they say.”
Yorkshire Regiment soldier James was hit by a Taliban sniper back in October, during a raid on an suspected arms compound.
After losing several pints of blood, he was airlifted to Camp Bastion for emergency surgery to save his leg.
The bullet had shattered both the tibia and fibula bones in his leg. Surgeons spent eight hours pinning them back together with metal rods.
He later flew back to the UK for another operation at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Birmingham before finally being allowed to return to his family in Huddersfield.
Next week, he will return to Headley Court in Surrey – the specialist Defence Medical Rehabilitation Centre – for his appointment.
Brave James, who is still having to take strong pain killers to cope with his injury, said that his family have been a great support.
The soldier, who had been serving with the Yorkshire Regiment, continued: “My boss gave me a call from Afghanistan over Christmas to check up on me and see how I was coping.
“It was nice to hear from him.
“I asked him how they were getting on and he said things out there are just the same.
“He said he would try and give me another call on January 4 to find out the outcome of my appointment.
“I don’t think I will be going back in to the army now, I think it is more than likely that I will get medical discharge.”