WAR hero Ben Parkinson gave his mum the Mothers’ Day gift doctors thought he never could – walking, on his new legs, to present her with a bouquet of flowers.
Paratrooper Ben, 27, from Doncaster, is the most seriously injured British servicemen to survive the war in Afghanistan, after losing both his legs and breaking his back, hips and ribs when his Land Rover hit a mine in 2006.
But, thanks to sheer determination, Ben – who spent four months in a coma in the aftermath of the blast – proved doctors wrong with his amazing progress.
He is now walking on his prosthetic legs, and even starting to get memories back of his Army career.
Proud mum Diane said: “Ben is just incredible in the progress he has made, and it goes without saying I’m very proud of him.
“Mothers’ Day is 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 we shouldn’t have. It’s just fantastic.”
Diane revealed Ben has had a breakthrough with his treatment and his memory is now coming back.
“This is the one thing we weren’t sure Ben would ever get back,” she 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 rollicking from someone when he was in the Army!
“He’s just so happy to have some of these memories back, because he couldn’t remember anything from being in the Army.”
For Mothers’ Day, Ben and his family will be travelling to Wootton Basset to take part in the Ride of Respect along with around 10,000 other bike riders. Ben will be riding a trike.
Diane said: “Ben is really excited, and obviously it gives him a chance to pay his respects. His big aim in his future progress is to continue with his memory development.
“He wants to get himself work in charity. He’ll always work for his military charities. He is happy being a figurehead but I think he wants to do a more productive role.
“He’s also really excited about the Olympic Games, as he will be carrying the torch and wants to do it walking unaided on his long legs.”
In his fight for recovery Ben travels to London every week, where he is undergoing specialist eye movement desensitisation and reprocessing therapy.
His mum said: “He’s only been going for a month but he’s got bits of his memory back already. It’s being used more and more for soldiers suffering Post Traumatic Stress Disorder but it’s never been used with someone like Ben before. Everyone at the centre is delighted with the way he’s responding.”
And, looking forward to Mothers’ Day, a beaming Diane said: “Obviously he needs 24-hour care, but it works both ways. I rely on Ben so much – on his strength, his character, and his sense of humour.”