Cyclist who nearly died in collision to complete ride he didn’t finish
Richard was one of four cyclists who were hit by an oncoming car when it drifted across the road on the outskirts of Eastwell in Leicestershire.
Just 30 months later, after spending 14 months recovering from multiple injuries and learning to walk again, Richard (42) will take part in a sponsored 70 mile ride to raise funds for Derbyshire, Leicestershire & Rutland Air Ambulance that attended the scene of the accident and flew him to hospital.
“There is absolutely no doubt that the helicopter crew saved my life. I had multiple injuries including a broken back in eight places, two punctured lungs and a serious head injury which was rated 3 on the Glasgow Coma Scale. If I hadn’t been treated at the scene or got to hospital so quickly I would not have survived. I needed 12 pints of blood to keep me alive,” he says.
Richard will be joined by fellow members of the ØVB Cycling Club for the charity ride on 7th September. The route from West Bridgford to Plungar and on to Melton Mowbray and back again will take in the stretch of road where the accident happened in March 2017.
“The air ambulance receives no government funding and relies totally on donations to remain operational. Each mission costs £1,700 and I hope to raise at least enough money to pay for the cost of my rescue flight,” he says.
Father-of-two, Richard has no memory of his accident or the four and a half weeks he was in the intensive care department at the Queen’s Medical Centre in Nottingham – where the air ambulance flew him to in just 8 minutes.
He spent just under seven weeks in hospital and had nine operations. It was then 14 months before he returned to his job as a Flood Risk Engineer.
Richard has been a keen cyclist since he got addicted to the sport watching the 2012 Olympics. Before his accident he cycled up to 140 miles a week and is now doing the same distance.
He was determined to get back on his bike as soon as possible after the accident and progressed from a static Wattbike to riding at the velodrome in Derby to getting out on roads again by May 2018.
This is despite having to wear a specially designed brace on his right arm – the nerves of which were disconnected from his spine in the collision – to hold the handle bars steady.
“I am fitter now than I was before my accident and I want to do the ride I set out to complete on the day it happened as a way of thanking the air ambulance for saving my life,” says Richard.
He has set up a JustGiving page for anyone who wishes to sponsor him to help achieve his target of repaying the cost of the air ambulance mission that saved his life.