'The MoD would rather let Ben die than pay for him to recover': Mother of hero soldier Ben Parkinson tells how her son refused to give up against all the odds
- Paratrooper Ben Parkinson lost both legs and suffered brain injuries after driving over a mine in Afghanistan
- He spent four months in a coma in military hospital
- Needed major surgery on shattered spine and had prosthetic legs fitted
By Suzannah Hills
PUBLISHED: 19:59 EST, 29 June 2012 | UPDATED: 20:40 EST, 29 June 2012
Inspirational paratrooper Ben Parkinson, 27, is the most injured British servicemen to have survived after he lost both his limbs and broke his back, hips and ribs when his Land Rover hit a mine in Afghanistan in 2006.
Doctors believed he wouldn't be able to recover from such serious wounds - 37 in total - but thanks to his sheer determination Ben has proved them all wrong with his amazing progress.
But his mother Diane Dernie, who refused to give up on him, today reveals how she faced an up-hill battle to get Ben the help he needed from the MoD to aid his path to recovery.
Diane Dernie, pictured with Ben on Mother's Day, said her son Ben has made unbelievable progress and his memory is returning
Ben spent four months in a coma that experts thought he would never awake from but when he miraculously did revive Diane claims the MoD were just concerned about the cost of his rehabilitation.
Under the advice of a surgeon, Ben underwent surgery so he would be able to sit in a wheelchair, but at the same time was discharged from the army hospital at Headley Court with no carers or help provided for him at home.
She told The Times newspaper: 'They saved his life but they would rather him die than pay for him to recover. People were saying that Headley Court was being blocked by people who couldn't be rehabilitated.
'I suppose our view of the MoD is that there is very little care for the soldier as a person. The soldiers lives have never been worth a great deal.'
Paratrooper, Lance Bombardier Ben Parkinson, 27, the most seriously wounded soldier to survive the war in Afghanistan, as he carries the Olympic Flame through his home town of Doncaster
Amazing spirit: Thousands of people lined the streets of Doncaster to show their support to the torch relay's bravest participant as paratroopers from Ben's regiment supported him all the way
It was while Ben was still in a coma that Diane said she received an 'invoice' of Ben's compensation for his injuries amounting to just £152,000.
After consulting a solicitor she managed to force a judicial review to fight the compensation scheme. Ben's compensation is now capped at the Government limit of £570,000.
She added: 'We were able to fight the system. And Ben has forced the way so the same thing never happens to another boy.'
Diane added that the MoD is very separate to the soldiers and their regiments. While soldiers are very loyal to eachother, the army, Queen and country, they are not loyal to the MoD who just see them as a 'commodity'.
Ben suffered a total of 37 terrible injuries when he was blown up by a landmine. He lost both his legs and sustained grievous damage to his spine, skull, pelvis, hands, spleen and ribcage, leaving him in a coma for months
Ben was just 22 when he was thrown 30 metres from a Land Rover from the blast of a 30-year-old Russian anti-tank mine in Afghanistan.
He landed on his head causing severe brain injury while his legs were crushed, his pelvis broken as well as his arms, hand and fingers and his jaw was fractured.
Despite all of this, he has fought an ongoing battle over the last six years to regain his memory and overcome his injuries.
This culminated last week with Ben carrying the Olympic torch for 300 metres - taking 27 painful and exhausting minutes.
He was determined to do it on his new prosthetic legs, scoffing at the offer to be pushed in a wheelchair or use crutches.
Proud paratroopers from Ben's regiment, the 7th Parachute Royal Horse Artillery unit, supported him all the way.
Few who saw Ben could fail to have been inspired by his strength of character as he walked slowly by the cenotaph in his home town of Doncaster.
Speaking on the day, he said: 'I am very proud. I didn’t realise how much support I had, I was amazed.’
His mother Diane added: ‘I cried from start to finish. People were shouting and cheering. I couldn’t believe so many had turned out.
'It's the proudest moment of my life. We knew Ben would complete the route. He's so determined.'
Ben was accompanied by 25 colleagues from 7 Para Royal Horse Artillery and his commanding officer Major David Walker said: ‘My men would have crawled over broken glass to be here today to show Ben our support.
'Everyone in the regiment is tremendously proud of the progress that he's made against incredible adversity.
'We're immensely proud of the physical and mental courage he shows in overcoming major injuries. It's nothing short of awe-inspiring.'
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