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Former soldier Mark Ormrod becomes the first amputee to wing walk for charity at Headcorn Aerodrome

By Claire McWethy

After stepping on a bomb in Afghanistan, 30-year-old Mark Ormrod, was not sure he would ever walk again.

But today the former soldier became the first triple amputee to take to the skies on the wings of a plane for charity, in a bid to raise £50,000 for Royal Marines and their families.

For the stunt, Mr Ormrod soared to 500ft above Headcorn Aerodrome atop a 1940s biplane, a Boeing Stearman.

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Mark Ormrod lands after his wing walk
Mark Ormrod lands after his wing walk

Mark had been serving with the Royal Marines for six years when he was deployed to Afghanistan in 2007.

But on Christmas Eve he was deployed to a routine foot patrol.

As he was making his way back to the base he stepped on an improvised explosive device.

Following the devastating blast he had to have his arm and both legs amputated.

He was in Selly Oak Hospital for six weeks and then spent a year in rehab following the accident.

He said: “I didn’t think I’d be able to do things like this again.

"I had never met an amputee before I’d been injured so it was a whole new world to me and I think in the beginning a lot of people think about what they can’t do rather than what they can do.

"But as you progress through your recovery and progress and meet other people in the same situation you hear what they’ve been doing you realise there’s a whole world out there, ready to open up to you if you are willing to give it a shot.

“If I inspire others that would be brilliant. I saw others and they inspired me because I knew it was possible.

"I like these type of sports where adrenaline is involved, but I’ve never done anything this before.”

Mark is the first British Forces charity fundraiser to benefit from new regulations permitting company Aerobatic Tactics to operate wing walking for members of the public and fundraising.

After landing he said: “When I first sat up there I was thinking ‘what have I done?’, sat on this metal frame.

Video: Mark Ormrod takes to the skies

"I got nervous when the engine was revving up but when I got up there it was an adrenaline rush. It was a lot of fun - like a ten minute long freefall!”

Also taking to the wing was his wife Becky, 28, who was due to complete the challenge after her husband.

In his bid to raise £50,000 for the Royal Marines Association during their 350th anniversary this year, Mark has already completed a 300ft bungee jump and back-to-back 15,000ft skydives. So far he has reached £12,000.

To donate visit www.justgiving.com/Mark-Ormrod

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