A FORMER army officer has been awarded compensation for injuries she suffered on a charity march.
Laura Fermor, from Perthshire, was forced to undergo two hip replacements after the march six years ago.
The 31-year-old has been fighting for compensation after the injuries left her unable to salvage her military career with the Royal Logistic Corps.
She was medically retired by the army last year and yesterday received a five-figure sum.
Ms Fermor said the money would finally give her the chance to “close this chapter” of her life.
She said: “I can’t really take it in yet. This has been going on for so long that it’s hard to think of it as being over at last.
“It has been a huge struggle, both mentally and physically, but I feel like a huge weight has gone off my shoulders now. I’m delighted.”
Ms Fermor was commissioned by the Royal Military Academy at Sandhurst in 2007 and became a troop commander in the Royal Logistic Corps.
The St Andrews University graduate sustained her injury while undertaking a fundraising march along Hadrian’s Wall in 2008 with her comrades.
She said: “I had intense pain from both hips. I received physiotherapy for months but, due to my commitments as a troop commander, and our impending deployment to Cyprus for a UN tour of duty, I was unable to do much else except manage the best I could with painkillers.”
She was later promoted to the rank of captain and returned to work on a cocktail of medication. Capt Fermor had her right hip replaced in 2012. In 2013, she also had her left hip replaced.
But although defence chiefs paid out compensation over her right hip, they had been contesting the left. The Ministry of Defence had said that injury “is not service attributable” but Ms Fermor appealed and has now won.
She said: “It is laughable as it is an identical injury that required identical treatment. I will require surgery throughout my life as the implants wear out and need replacing again. There are things I will never be able to do again, and life will not be the same for me. I am now unable to run, which for a previously highly active person, who enjoyed cross-country, swimming and playing rugby, is very hard.”
Earlier, she said: “This has taken an enormous toll on both my husband and I have suffered depression for years. I feel like the whole situation has been made worse by the time we have to wait for what we are owed.”
An MoD spokeswoman said: “We are committed to dealing with all claims as quickly as possible.”