'Son may walk' before hurt skydiver

Congleton Guardian: A man badly hurt in a parachuting accident is recovering in hospital in New Zealand A man badly hurt in a parachuting accident is recovering in hospital in New Zealand

A skydiver who miraculously survived after plummeting 12,000ft into a parked van has told friends he expects his infant son will be walking before him.

Ben Cornick, 31, from Swansea, south Wales, is still recovering in hospital in Auckland, New Zealand, following his serious accident in Fiji.

The experienced skydiver crashed into a van after losing control of a steering toggle on a specialist parachute during a "fun jump" on January 14.

As well as snapping his arm, he also broke his right thigh bone in three places and badly damaged his kneecaps.

Speaking to his supporters via a dedicated Facebook page, Mr Cornick, who hopes to return home for his son's first birthday in March, said: "I need to learn to walk again quick sharp, annoy the hell out of some friends here in New Zealand for a few weeks and then concentrate on getting back to my son, Alfie, who will probably be walking better than me by the time I get home."

While normally insured for personal injury on the job, family and friends say because the father-of-one was jumping with his own equipment on his day off he has to pay his own medical bills.

His cousin Ricky Davies set up a Facebook page to help and so far friends and strangers have donated an estimated £35,000.

Mr Cornick added: " I've been up and down the last few days but just wanted to give another huge thanks to everyone involved in sharing, caring and donating. I'm still in total awe of what you guys have achieved for me and I owe every single one of you.

"Getting out of bed to a chair or the toilet is now a two-person job rather than a three-person job so things are looking up already.

"Been moved to a proper ward now and doctors say it's going to be three months' minimum for putting any weight on the arm and leg and to start the proper physio to full recovery.

"But with the nature of the accident I'm very lucky to be alive."

His mother Ellie Harrison told the Wales On Sunday newspaper her son's ordeal had taken a big toll on her family.

"I feel awful and totally useless," she added.

"Our priority is to pay for the operations and get Ben home safely. On the flight home Ben will be on a stretcher and will need a doctor by his side. I've spoken to him and he says he wants to be home by March 24. I would like to thank every single person who has put their hand in their pocket."

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