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South Yorkshire war hero’s icy fundraiser

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War hero Ben Parkinson MBE – the country’s most injured serviceman to survive his wounds – has joined in a charity craze by being doused in ice-cold water.

Inspirational Ben can be seen in footage being soaked by a man dressed as a chicken, before he nominated his mum Diane for the same fate.

And a second video shows a grinning Ben sitting next to his mum in the sunshine, before throwing a bucket of freezing water over her – while she screams and laughs.

Mum Diane Dernie, aged 56, said: “It was really cold but it was great fun.

“Ben had done it the week before and I was one of the people he nominated so I took the challenge when it was nice and sunny outside.

“He had to do the water because his hand is too shaky to hold the camera.”

Both mum and son pledged their donation to the Motor Neurone Association.

Lance Bombardier Parkinson lost both legs and broke his back, hips and ribs in a landmine blast in Afghanistan in 2006.

He suffered more than 40 injuries, including brain damage which affected his memory and speech.

Paratrooper Ben, 30, has since defied medical opinion by teaching himself to walk again for short distances using crutches.

When he took a turn in carrying the Olympic flame through his hometown of Doncaster in 2012, the sight of the determined soldier on his prosthetic legs moved many to tears and was declared one of the most emotional scenes of the relay.

Ben was also one of a group of injured veterans who took part in a gruelling trek in Norway in 2013.

Diane said Ben, who has just had the all-clear after an operation to his leg, will be heading off to the US soon at the invitation of the 9/11 Association and will soon start working with The Princes Trust, giving inspirational talks.

 

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