Doncaster war hero amputee to launch walking festival

War hero Ben Parkinson MBE, Britain's most injured surviving soldier, at Castle Craig Hospital in Peebleshire, where he is making a miracle recovery receiving breakthrough oxygen treatment. See Ross Parry copy RPYSOLDIER : Hero Ben Parkinson - Britain's most injured surviving soldier - is making a miracle recovery thanks to a pioneering new course of treatment. The former paratrooper was horrifically maimed eight years ago when the Land Rover he was travelling hit a mine in Helmand Province. The explosion broke his back in three places and punctured his lungs. Every single rib was broken, his spleen was ruptured and his cheek, nose and jaw were smashed. Ben, then 22, was left in a coma for four months during which surgeons removed both his legs above the knees. He also lost his speech and was left with debilitating brain injuries.

War hero Ben Parkinson MBE, Britain's most injured surviving soldier, at Castle Craig Hospital in Peebleshire, where he is making a miracle recovery receiving breakthrough oxygen treatment. See Ross Parry copy RPYSOLDIER : Hero Ben Parkinson - Britain's most injured surviving soldier - is making a miracle recovery thanks to a pioneering new course of treatment. The former paratrooper was horrifically maimed eight years ago when the Land Rover he was travelling hit a mine in Helmand Province. The explosion broke his back in three places and punctured his lungs. Every single rib was broken, his spleen was ruptured and his cheek, nose and jaw were smashed. Ben, then 22, was left in a coma for four months during which surgeons removed both his legs above the knees. He also lost his speech and was left with debilitating brain injuries.

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Wounded ex-serviceman Ben Parkinson, who lost both legs in a bomb blast, is to launch a walking festival in Doncaster.

The 31-year-old, from Bessacarr, who was left fighting for life in Afghanistan in 2006, has been asked to launch the ‘Get Doncaster Walking Festival’ to mark its tenth anniversary.

He will lead the first walk of the festival at Lakeside on Saturday, January 16.

The 1.7 mile route, starting at the Keepmoat Stadium, will follow the perimeter of the lake.

Get Doncaster Walking is a council-led programme of free organised walks, ranging from light strolls to more lengthy walks in the country, designed to get local people of all fitness levels out enjoying the fresh air, maintaining a healthy lifestyle and socialising.

Ben will be joined for the walk by Mayor Ros Jones and collectors from his charity, Pilgrim Bandits.

Mayor Jones, said: “The Get Doncaster Walking programme is an excellent scheme that helps to encourage more healthy and active lifestyles, and what a powerful way to celebrate its 10 years than for Ben Parkinson, a local hero and source of inspiration for so many of us, to lead the first walk.

“Anyone and everyone is welcome to join Ben for the free event and I hope to see people of all ages there.”

Ben, a former paratrooper, defied the odds to walk again with crutches in 2011 and carry the Olympic torch through his home town of Doncaster, the following year.

He now uses a spinal brace and prosthetic legs to walk upright.

Visit: hwww.doncaster.gov.uk/services/culture-leisure-tourism/walking-in-doncaster

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