FRIENDS and family of skydive instructor Ben Cornick, who needed emergency surgery after crash landing into a parked van, are renewing their appeal in order to get him home for his sons first birthday.

Thousands of people donated money to help fly Ben, 31, to a hospital in New Zealand after he crashed during a personal jump from 12,000 ft in Fiji on Tuesday, January 14.

The father of one was at risk of losing his leg as a result of the accident which not only broke his right leg in three places but also crushed his left arm and also broke his hip and damaged his pelvis.

Ben, who attended Maidenhill School in Stonehouse between the age of 13 and 16, was not covered by his insurance for personal jumps and therefore friends and family took to social media to raise the £20,000 needed to fly him from Suva Hospital in Fiji to Auckland, New Zealand.

According to friend and fellow skydiver Shell Meakins the accident was caused when Ben lost control of his Riser, which steers the canopy, whilst he was coming in to land.

“The riser came out of his hand mid turn which meant he was unable to steer and crashed into a parked van,” she said.

A Facebook donation page set up by Ben’s cousin Ricky Davies on the Tuesday night managed to raise £12,000 in 12 hours and eventually enough money was raised to pay for Ben’s flight – which left Fiji on Friday morning.

“Ben’s friends and family secured the loan which has since been paid back by the generous donations from around the world both in and out of the skydiving community," said Shell.

To Date the emergency flight will have cost the fund £20,000 and all additional donations are now being gathered to help with the unknown cost of the operations on his leg and arm which have so far been successful.

Currently the total fund stands at £30,000 but the total bill is estimated to run over £50,000 once extra costs such as after care treatment and his flight home including the cost of the nurse who will need to accompany him.

To help Ben get home in time for his son Alfie’s birthday on March 24 donate via PayPal by emailing

Keep up to date on Ben’s progress by visiting the Ben Cornick donation page on Facebook.