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Brain injury, but I have no fear

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Bren View Drop Down
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    Posted: 20 Dec 2010 at 10:47

Brain injury, but I have no fear


Published: Today

VICTORIA Cross hero Johnson Beharry has shocked doctors by refusing to wear a helmet as he skates on Dancing On Ice - despite horrific brain injuries.

The Lance Corporal, 31, had a chunk of grey matter removed after his skull was smashed by a rocket-propelled grenade in Iraq in 2004.

But after his first foray on to a rink, he said his fear of causing more damage to his still-scarred skull melted away.

Gutsy Johnson told TV Biz: "I've only worn the helmet once. Everyone was worried about me falling over and at first I wouldn't let go of the barrier.

"But the following day I had enough confidence not to wear my helmet. I told my doctor - he wasn't happy.

"I've only fallen over three times and twice was because of not concentrating." He added: "For me it's a new challenge, I love challenges." The same fearlessness led to Grenada-born Johnson being awarded Britain's top military award in 2005 for twice saving colleagues under enemy fire.

Proud ... Johnson Beharry with his Victoria Cross in 2005
Despite having his skull shattered in the 2004 attack, he managed to drive eight comrades to safety from an ambush before eventually losing consciousness.

One month earlier he had driven other pals away from danger through another ambush - while his armoured vehicle's hatch was open, exposing his head to enemy fire.

He said his reason for joining the line-up of Dancing On Ice - which kicks off on ITV1 on Sunday January 9 - is to help others.

Johnson added: "The message I'm trying to get out to injured people is, 'Stop feeling sorry for yourself, adjust to your new life and this is what you can achieve'."

He went on: "They may not be as lucky as me to maybe have both legs and both arms but anything can happen to you."

Johnson's Army pals will be in the audience and the hero admitted that their jokes about his outfits will be the most daunting part of the show.

He laughed: "I know for sure they can't wait to take the p*** out of me.

"I'm happy to wear anything besides pink as long as it's not tight. I've got an issue with tight clothes."

Cast ... Comedy Dave Vitty, Jennifer Metcalfe, Craig McLachlan, Denise Welch, Sam Attwater, Nadia Sawalha, Vanilla Ice, Elen Rivas, Dominic Cork, Laura Hamilton, Johnson Beharry, Chloe Madeley, Steven Arnold, Angela Rippon, Kerry Katona, Jeff Brazier

  • HOLLYOAKS beauty Jennifer Metcalfe joined up to skate hoping to get a "tighter bum".

    Jennifer, 27 - Mercedes McQueen in the Channel 4 soap - said: "I'm not a dancer but I did baton-twirling for nine years and cheerleading, so that might help me. I signed up to get a tighter bum but so far I've only got fatter."

    The Sun

    Edited by Bren - 20 Dec 2010 at 10:48
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