A former Royal Marine has been labelled “the luckiest man alive” after cheating death 10 times.
Tough Wes Grant, 37, has survived being stabbed, set on fire, car jacked, a serious bicycle crash and a malfunction of his skydiving equipment.
He was shot at by the Taliban during two tours of Afghanistan and by pirates while on duty at sea and has also pulled through a stroke caused by a heart condition.
Wes has miraculously survived a lifetime of near-misses that began when he was pulled from a fire during childhood.
He has also been stabbed, shot, set on fire and undergone emergency heart surgery where he was given a 50% chance of surviving.
His remarkable survivals have seen him tagged the “luckiest man alive”.
Wes is now a world champion bodybuilder and lives in Plymouth, Devon, with his wife and two children.
He said: “I can definitely agree I have had luck on my side and I hope that continues.
“I have had a lot of close calls and escaped death many times. It goes back to when I was a kid.
“I am a survivor and although things haven’t always gone smoothly I am still here.
“My wife Holly is my absolute rock and she has gone grey because of my lifestyle.
“But what happens in my life has just become the new normal.”
After growing up with an “adventurous lifestyle” during the apartheid years in South African, his first brush with death involved being “scrapped off the tarmac” when he knocked himself out during a bike crash.
But one of his most serious injuries involved being caught in a fire in which he says his feet nearly melted clear off.
He said: “We were on a school camp rowing trip when I was 16 and all my toes melted together when I was caught in a field fire.
“I was lucky a friend ran back in to pull me out to a patch of sand near the river. Then this massive South African firefighter came and took me to safety. I had operation after operation to save my feet and had to learn to walk again.”
Still in South Africa, Wes recalls being shot once and also stabbed with an Allen key by a carjacker after he approached a suspicious looking car.
He added: “I was rushed to hospital as I had been stabbed on the rear of the shoulder blade, narrowly missing my top air pass to my lung. Any small movement left or right could have been fatal.”
As a 17-year-old schoolboy he also emptied a can of deodorant in a changing room locker and a back-draft set his entire face on fire.
He then learnt to become a fire blower to earn a wage in his home-country, but a mistake involving air-con and the wrong fuel, again led to disaster and for a third time, Wes found himself covered in flames.
But after leaving South Africa behind in 2006 to join the Royal Marines on a one way ticket with just £100 in his pocket, things didn’t get any smoother for Wes.
He passed out in 2009 and within weeks was sent to Afghanistan as a battlefield casualty replacement in what was the first of two tours of Helmand province.
He said: “You’re trained to be this fighting machine. The first one was quite a rough tour.
“I remember being on a post during my first contact and the area was covered in bullet holes just below me.
“The second tour was more focused on training and mentoring the Afghan forces but there were still injuries and deaths.”
Also during his time with the Royal Marines he was suddenly taken ill.
He added: “I had a stroke/heart attack and in one moment I just just went blind. Things were getting darker and I was rushed to the Royal Eye Infirmary.
“I had a blood clot that passed two chambers in my heart that went up the back up of my neck. The lack of blood flow cased visual impairment for about nine hours and stopped all the blood going up to my brain.
“I was given a 50/50 chance of making it out of the operation alive.
“They kept me in, I was in the gym at the time, lifting a couple of weights and what they said was a blood clot had passed through a valve in the heart going all the way up to the back of my neck and brain, causing a visual impairment for about eight, nine hours.
“It stopped all the blood going up to my brain.”
While being treated at Derriford Hospital, Wes did have some luck – he met his future wife who was working there.
He added: “I returned back to the unit and for the last year of my career was an airfield adventurous training instructor. I was basically part of the sky diving instructor team – and probably did about 260 jumps.
“On one occasion there was a parachute malfunction when I snapped two of the 900lbs breaking strain lines. That could have ended in disaster.”
After leaving the military in 2013 he joined as a maritime security sector protecting ships and cargo against pirates.
He said: “The pirates were offered just fuel to get out with no way to return unless they took a hostage vessel and they would try and fire shots at us.”
Wes then qualified as a close protection officer and has been security for A-list celebrities, high net-worth clients and even members of the Royal Family.
He is also now a champion bodybuilder and has a universe championship, world championship title, and a UK championship title to his name.
Timeline of his brushes with death:
Schoolboy – Serious bicycle accident when knocked out by handlebars and left in road
Aged 16 – Survived serious field fire that left him learning to walk again
Aged 17 – A can of deodorant set on fire – burning his entire face
Aged between 18-24 – Shot in South Africa
Aged between 18-24 – Nearly died when stabbed during car-jacking
Aged between 18-24 – Covered in flames during accident while working as flame thrower
Herrick 9 and Herrick 14 – Shot at by Taliban in Afghanistan
2013 – Parachute malfunction while jumping out of a plane
2013 – Heart attack/stroke that he was given 50/50 chance of survival
2014 – Shot at by pirates