THE PARENTS of a Hampshire man who survived being hit by a train have spoken of their son's 'miracle' escape.

As previously reported, Ian Willard, 29, was hit by a train travelling between Southampton Central and Totton. Transport police believe he had been walking alongside the tracks near Millbrook station when he was struck by the train on Friday evening.

Mum Sylvia Willard, 51, of Whitehouse Gardens, Millbrook, Southampton, said the family had been left in shock.

But she said doctors at Southampton General Hospital had been “amazed” by his “remarkable” recovery after having his arm amputated.

She said doctors told her the train had been travelling at up to 55mph.

Ms Willard said her son was struck on the left side and fell to the ground. It is not clear why he had put himself in such danger.

She said he suffered internal bleeding and a fractured bone in the head and serious injuries to his arm, which required it to be amputated at the shoulder.

“It’s just awful,” she said. “It’s a life-changing situation. He has been informed but I don’t think it’s sunk in yet. All I know is we’ve got a long road ahead of us to rebuild his life.”

She said last night her son was sitting up in bed and eating but was still very confused about what happened, believing he may have been struck by a car or been in a fight.

“He has recovered remarkably,”

she said. “The doctors are amazed he’s made such a good recovery.”

Mr Willard, who is originally from Hythe but had moved to Millbrook, used to run a garden pond business, but has been unemployed recently.

Services between Southampton Central and Brockenhurst were halted while police and paramedics attended. Passengers were initially told that a trespasser on the tracks had died.

A spokesman for British Transport Police said that Mr Willard was in a “stable condition”

and “improving”.

He said officers were trying to establish why he was walking alongside the tracks at the time but would wait until he has made a fuller recovery before speaking to him.

The tracks were handed back to Network Rail at 8.48pm.

Anyone with information can call British Transport Police on 0800 405040, quoting reference 537 of November 23.