Honour for massacre survivor

HONOUR Harnish Patel
HONOUR Harnish Patel
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A SURVIVOR of the Mumbai terrorist attacks has been chosen to be a flag bearer at the London Olympics.

Describing it as a ‘once-in-a-lifetime opportunity’, Royal Navy reservist Lieutenant Harnish Patel will be helping to raise the flags at the team welcome and victory medal ceremonies.

The 32-year-old, who was shot through the legs and chest in the Mumbai massacre, in which almost 200 people died in November 2008, will be one of 176 members of the army, navy and air force to raise the flags at the ceremonies.

As previously reported, Mr Patel astonished doctors with his rapid recovery and his determination has seen him take part in marathons, half marathons and 10km races.

The Southsea-based surveyor achieved another ambition by joining the Royal Navy Reserve.

He was chosen as a flag bearer through an MoD nomination process, highlighting those with sporting or operational achievements, or who are involved in their local community.

Able Rate Patel, who is based at HMS King Alfred, Whale Island, said: ‘Not certain if I’d be able to walk or run again whilst in hospital in Mumbai, India, following being stitched back together, I had two options: pick myself up or roll over.

‘The latter had not been an option and it is a great honour to be selected for this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.’