Survivor marks Mother’s Day with flowers and a bike ride

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WAR hero Ben Parkinson showed off his new legs and the staggering scale of his recovery so far as he gave his mother a bouquet for Mother’s Day.

The paratrooper is the most injured British servicemen to survive after losing both limbs, broke his back, hips and ribs and suffered severe brain injuries when his Land Rover hit a mine in Afghanistan in 2006.

But with sheer grit and determination, and a great sense of humour, the 27-year-old Lance Bombardier, who spent four months in a coma and has battled for continued funding for his rehabilitation, has proved doctors wrong with his progress.

Proud mother Diane Dearnie said: “Ben is just incredible in the progress he has made, it goes without saying that I’m very, very proud of him. Mother’s Days are very special to me.

“Recent events in particular have only made us realise just how lucky we are to have Ben with us. Every little bit of Ben we get back is something that we shouldn’t have. It’s just fantastic.”

And asked if he had a special Mother’s Day message for his mother, the soldier turned charity campaigner, of Doncaster, who served with 7 Para, Royal Horse Artillery, quipped: “I’ll have a cup of tea, mum.”

Psychotheraphy is also helping L/Bdr Parkinson recover his memory.

Mrs Dearnie said: “The doctors told us he would never walk again, be able to eat by himself or talk– but we believed he would. But remembering things is one thing I think Ben never believed he would regain.

“The other morning he woke up and told me he had remembered getting a rollocking from someone when he was in the Army. He’s just so happy to have some of these memories back.”

For Mother’s Day, L/Bdr Parkinson who will be an Olympic torch bearers, and his family will travel to Wootton Basset to take part in the Ride of Respect, where he will be on a trike among about 10,000 other bikers.

Mothers ready for special day on front line, Section 1, News, Page 10; Section 1, Comment: Page 16.

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