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Duchess meets wounded servicemen

22 October 09 16:25 GMT

The Duchess of Cornwall has met injured soldiers at the armed forces rehabilitation centre in Surrey.

During her visit to Headley Court, she was shown robotic limbs being developed by RAF technicians and talked to patients learning how to use them.

The duchess was also shown a piece of equipment developed by Nasa, which is helping wounded service personnel with their physiotherapy treatment.

She described the men she met, some of whom have lost limbs, as "inspiring".

The Defence Medical Rehabilitation Centre, near Epsom, is currently caring for several members of the duchess's own regiment, 4th Battalion The Rifles, of which she is Royal Colonel.

The 84-acre site has facilities for up to 160 patients.

In 1996 the unit became the main rehabilitation centre for all three armed forces.

The site provides consultants, physiotherapists, occupational therapists, speech and language therapists, social workers, a psychologist and a cognitive therapist.

L/Cpl Stuart Glover demonstrated the Nasa-designed running machine that uses anti-gravity technology to reacclimatise astronauts whey they return to earth. The duchess had to stand on a box to talk to the 25-year-old L/Cpl who was strapped into the machine.

L/Cpl Glover, from the Queen's Royal Hussars, broke his foot, shoulder and six vertebrae in his back in February when he was blown up by an explosive device in Helmand Province in Afghanistan.

The machine uses pressurised air to vary how much of his body weight goes into each step, reducing it by as much as 80%.

"To be back on my feet is great, this machine has done so much for my confidence," he said.

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