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Losing the Battle, Winning the War: How we can all defy the odds we're given

Ben Parkinson

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Coping with disability

The inspirational story of how the most injured soldier from the Afghanistan conflict defied all odds by surviving, talking and walking again, and the incredible feats he's undertaken for charity since - proving that we can all survive adversity and thrive on it when we back ourselves.

In September 2006, Lance Bombardier Ben Parkinson was travelling through Helmand Province when his armoured Land Rover hit a mine. He suffered 37 injuries in all, including losing both legs, breaking his pelvis and spine, and suffering brain damage. For this he has become known as the most injured soldier to survive the Afghanistan/Iraq conflicts.

After the explosion, doctors didn't think Ben would survive - then they didn't think he'd wake up, or talk again, or walk again. Ben confounded them all. More than that, the disabilities he survived with taught him how many other people are suffering too, many who didn't get the 22 years' quality of life that he had. It's led him to do a lot of charity work, including a 90-mile kayak in France, a trek through the Arctic and cycling across New Zealand which has raised hundreds of thousands of pounds. For his efforts he was awarded an MBE in 2015. He also carried the Olympic torch in 2012 and was awarded the 'Overcoming Adversity Award' at the Millies back in 2008 (voted for by the public).

This is the story of a young man in his prime who seemingly lost everything fighting for his country - only to prove that strength of spirit and mind can overcome even the greatest of hurdles.

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