LOVED UP: Mark Urquhart made the decision to cut off both his legs after he was paralysed from the hips down. He proposed to partner Vikki on Weekend Sunrise.
LOVED UP: Mark Urquhart made the decision to cut off both his legs after he was paralysed from the hips down. He proposed to partner Vikki on Weekend Sunrise. Contributed

Mark's live on-air proposal

THREE months on from his life changing surgery Mark Urquhart said his life has changed for the better and he is determined to move forward one step at a time.

After a six hour operation to remove his legs and three months of rehabilitation Mr Urquhart is looking toward the future with his new fiancee, Vikki Cooper by his side.

 

CUT OFF: Mark Urquhart made the decision to cut off both his legs after he was paralysed from the hips down. He proposed to partner Vikki during Sunrise Weekend. Photo Contributed
CUT OFF: Mark Urquhart made the decision to cut off both his legs after he was paralysed from the hips down. He proposed to partner Vikki during Sunrise Weekend. Photo Contributed Contributed

Mr Urquhart doesn't believe in doing things by halves and said if you do something you do it with pride.

This could be the reason why the ex-Bundaberg solider chose to pop the question on national television, on channel 7's Sunrise Weekend.

The 48-year-old said he wasn't nervous about asking for her hand in marriage on live TV and the only thing he had ever been nervous about was waking up after the surgery to remove his legs.

Thankfully she said yes, and now the couple plan to take on the world together.

 

CUT OFF: Mark Urquhart made the decision to cut off both his legs after he was paralysed from the hips down. He proposed to partner Vikki during Sunrise Weekend. Photo Contributed
CUT OFF: Mark Urquhart made the decision to cut off both his legs after he was paralysed from the hips down. He proposed to partner Vikki during Sunrise Weekend. Photo Contributed Contributed

"I was terrified of what my reaction would be once I realised my legs were gone," he said.

"Vikki was by my side and thankfully 30 seconds after I woke up I was okay and realised where I was.

"There were quite a few doctors who rotated during the surgery - I was in good hands."

Mr Urquhart was a private in the 3RD Battalion Royal Australian Regiment (3RAR).

 

CUT OFF: Mark Urquhart made the decision to cut off both his legs after he was paralysed from the hips down. Photo Contributed
CUT OFF: Mark Urquhart made the decision to cut off both his legs after he was paralysed from the hips down. Photo Contributed Contributed

He became a paraplegic after jumping from an Hercules aeroplane and the morphine pump used for pain crystallised paralysing him from the hips down.

The father-of-four went through many years fighting depression and anxiety, he had thoughts of suicide and said it was a long journey to get to where he was now.

"I battled depression and was diagnosed with PTSD after the army in 1995," he said.

"It was a long journey, and I'll always have it (the PTSD, and depression) and never be able to get rid of it.

"But I've learnt to control it."

He said it was a stigma which needed to be broken and depression could strike anyone at any age.

"I had thoughts of suicide, but I opened up and spoke about it," he said.

"Sport was a big thing which helped and I learnt to deal with it.

"Sport changed my life completely."

 

CUT OFF: Mark Urquhart made the decision to cut off both his legs after he was paralysed from the hips down. He proposed to partner Vikki during Sunrise Weekend. Photo Contributed
CUT OFF: Mark Urquhart made the decision to cut off both his legs after he was paralysed from the hips down. He proposed to partner Vikki during Sunrise Weekend. Photo Contributed Contributed

Mr Urquhart said going to the Invictus Games and meeting the athletes and Prince Harry were highlights in his life along with becoming the world champion for triathlons in the open class.

And the future looks brighter now for the double amputee as he hopes to start bob sledding in January.

"I go back for a check-up on November 4 and I hope to walk through the doors," Mr Urquhart said.

He is ranked number four in the world for parabobsled.


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