Belfast Telegraph

Friday 19 September 2014

Soldier and surgeon to be honoured

Angie Benhaffaf wither her son Hassan

A soldier who risked his life to save a wounded Afghan girl and a surgeon who successfully separated conjoined twins will be honoured at an awards ceremony.

Corporal Aran Rushe, a medic in the 1st Battalion The Royal Irish Regiment, ran towards fire from Taliban gunmen to rescue eight-year-old Sheefa, who had been shot in the stomach, before carrying her back to his patrol base in Nad-e-Ali.

Surgeon Edward Kiely, from Great Ormond Street Hospital in London, successfully separated conjoined twins Hussein and Hassan Benhaffaf, from East Cork, in April last year.

Their work will be recognised at the News of the World Children's Champions Awards, hosted by Davina McCall and Simon Cowell.

Other winners include young victims of meningitis, a woman who rescues young victims of sexual abuse and the brother of murdered teenager Chris Cave.

They will meet Prime Minister David Cameron in Downing Street at midday and will be presented with a trophy at a ceremony at Grosvenor House, London.

Cpl Rushe, who regularly treats locals, was nominated by Mallem Sadar Mohammed, a tribal elder from Helmand province. "Everyone in our village is grateful to this man for saving her life," he said.

Mr Kiely was nominated by the boys' mother Angie, 36, from County Cork. She said he would visit the boys up to four times a day in hospital on his days off.

She added: "I've never met a more humble man. He's beautiful with the twins. When he sees them his face lights up."

The winners were picked by a panel of celebrity judges including Rio Ferdinand, James Corden, Lord Sebastian Coe and Stacey Solomon. X Factor winner Alexandra Burke will perform.

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