Seriously injured soldier carries the Olympic Torch
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The nation watched yesterday as former serviceman and amputee Lance Bombardier Parkinson took the Olympic Torch through Doncaster on his prosthetic legs.
It was a moving moment when the ex-soldier got up out of his wheelchair to carry the torch through his hometown. The 27 year old was supported by a crowd of thousands, including soldiers from his unit in Essex.
The paratrooper sadly lost both legs and suffered brain and spinal injuries in a bomb attack in Afghanistan in 2006. He is known to be the most seriously injured survivor of the war in Afghanistan.
Determined to walk again
As a double amputee, L/Bdr Parkinson usually walks with the aid of crutches but through sheer determination, he walked without them yesterday.
Mobilising on prosthetic legs is no walk in the park. As L/Bdr Parkinson’s physiotherapist pointed out, amputees who have lost their legs above the knee use the same energy to walk as someone with legs carrying three times their body weight. In other words it is as though Ben was carrying 60 stones with him as well as the torch!
The emotional scenes in Doncaster yesterday are illustrative of the hope that the Olympic Games 2012 have brought to members of the disabled community. No doubt amputees across the country and the world have been inspired by L/Bdr Parkinson’s fantastic courage. His proud walk through Doncaster goes to show what can be achieved despite multiple serious injuries with the right rehabilitation, equipment and a lot of determination.
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