Family fights for Ben’s crucial rehabilitation

Pictured is Ben Parkinson with his mum Diane Dernie. Picture: Glen Minikin
Pictured is Ben Parkinson with his mum Diane Dernie. Picture: Glen Minikin

THE family of severely injured war hero Ben Parkinson have officially appealed against a recommendation to medically discharge him from the Army.

The 27-year-old former Lance Bombardier’s rehabilitation, which involves 37 hours a week of physio, speech therapy and gym work, is paid for by the Ministry of Defence.

However, the Army Medical Services Board wrote to Ben’s family home in Bawtry Road, Bessacarr, recommending his discharge. On the same day he was told his injury compensation would be capped at £570,000 rather than the full £1,090,000.

Mum Diane Dernie told the Free Press the letter was a “massive blow” for Ben and that they have appealed to the Ministry of Defence - with the family expecting a decision on October 14.

“In a day everything was taken away from him, it’s too much,” said the 53-year-old.

“He knows he can’t be in the Army forever but was promised he could finish his rehab.

“It’s wrong. He’s done brilliantly in his rehab and to have that stopped will send him right back to square one.”

Ben, who lost both legs and suffered brain damage in a bomb blast in Afghanistan, has been told when he is discharged in December he will receive two hours a week of rehab which Mrs Dernie said was “nowhere near enough”.

She met with Don Valley MP Caroline Flint who wrote to Prime Minister David Cameron asking him to honour his pledge of taking care of Ben.

Ms Flint said: “You confirmed that the Government would support Ben through his rehabilitation: ‘however long it takes. This has not changed.’

“You also pledged that ‘You [Mrs Dernie] and Ben will be fully consulted before any final decisions on Ben’s future in the Army are taken’.”

A spokesman for the MOD said he could not comment on individual cases.

He added: “No-one will leave the Army until they have reached a point in their recovery where it is right for them to leave, however long that takes.”