Grateful brother runs two marathons in a week to support local air ambulance
The brother of a patient airlifted by the local air ambulance has achieved his self-set challenge of running two marathons in a week to raise enough money to pay for one lifesaving mission “so that another family can get the second chance that we received”.
Tax lawyer Matt Switzer (31) completed the virtual London Marathon on Sunday 4 October in 3 hours 9 minutes 15 seconds and the virtual Milton Keynes Marathon on Saturday 10 October in 3 hours 16 minutes 52 seconds.
He had originally planned to take part in both events earlier this year, but they were postponed due to the Covid-19 crisis and replaced with virtual alternatives – where you pick your own 26.2-mile course.
Matt, from Buckinghamshire, ran the London Marathon around Aston Clinton and the surrounding villages where he and his brother Ben grew up as children and the second marathon in Hampshire immediately after doing a 10,000ft skydive in Salisbury to “try to do something a bit different and keep things interesting for the second run”!
The motivation to finish both events was Matt’s brother Ben who suffered serious head injuries when the minibus in which he was travelling from a day placement in Milton Keynes back to his care home in Bedford was involved in a collision on the A422 between Chicheley and Hardmead in Buckinghamshire in March 2010.
Matt remembers answering the door to a policeman who came to tell his parents that Ben (23 at the time) had been seriously injured in the accident.
“They were told that Ben could die that night and so they had to go straight to the hospital in Coventry where he had been taken. Thanks to the Warwickshire & Northamptonshire Air Ambulance (WNAA) getting him there so quickly, he got the treatment he needed and is still alive today,” he says.
Matt describes Ben, who has autism, as “an absolute legend” and “the kindest, funniest and most astonishingly resilient person I know”.
He was in intensive care at University Hospital Coventry & Warwickshire for several weeks and underwent major facial reconstruction surgery which left him without a right eye and a polymer implant for his forehead.
Matt says: “Unfortunately this means that Ben can’t do some of the things he loved doing before the accident. He must take extra care with everyday tasks but remains the same incredible cheerful person he was before the accident, which is a testament to how truly inspirational he is“.
Hoping to raise enough money to fund a WNAA mission “so that another family can get the second chance that we received”, Matt has set up a JustGiving page and has already raised 92 percent of his target amount of £1,700.
He plans to keep the page open until – hopefully – the London Marathon takes place again in 2021.