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Mark Ormrod awarded Honorary Degree

Released: 19.09.18

Former Royal Marine Commando Mark Ormrod collected an honorary degree from Plymouth Marjon University in a ceremony held on campus in recognition of his inspirational achievements.

Mark was the first triple amputee to survive the conflict in Afghanistan after an Improvised Explosive Device left him with life-threatening injuries. Mark has overcome tremendous challenges in his life to now work as an inspirational speaker, award-winning writer and peak performance coach.

The 35-year-old collected his Master of Sports Science Honorary Degree in a small ceremony held on campus on Wednesday, 19 September.

“I feel humbled and honoured to receive this degree,” said Mark.

“The furthest I went in education was compulsory study so I never thought I’d be receiving a degree in my lifetime. I appreciate the level of effort that students put in to getting their degrees so I’m very humbled that I’m being awarded one as an honorary graduate.”

On Christmas Eve, 2007, Mark was on foot patrol in the Helmand Province of Afghanistan when his life took a dramatic change in direction. Mark stepped on and trigged an Improvised Explosive Device and sustained serious, life-altering injuries. Fortunately, thanks to the quick reaction of the Medical Emergency Response Team, Mark’s life was saved after being airlifted to an emergency field hospital.

Mark woke up in a hospital in Birmingham three days later as the first triple amputee to survive the conflict in Afghanistan. Both legs were amputated above the knee and his right arm was amputated above the elbow. Mark was told he’d never walk again and that he should prepare to spend the rest of his life in a wheelchair.

Mark’s determination to succeed meant he broke those boundaries. Today, the 35-year-old provides inspiration to all amputees and war-wounded as he works tirelessly as a motivational speaker, writer and as a coach to disabled people wishing to compete in elite sport. In addition, Mark is heavily involved in charitable work and is an ambassador for the Royal Marines Association.

The 2017 Invictus Games played host to one of Mark’s greatest accomplishments, as he won the silver medal for Team UK in the indoor rowing event held at Toronto, Canada.

Mark has two Pride of Plymouth awards to his name and also won the BLESMA Soldiering On Award in 2011.

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