The journey of a thousand miles begins with one step. (Lao Tzu : Circa 551-479 B.C.)
On June the 21 2013 at approx 09.30hrs I was circulating the fabulous Oulton Park race circuit in free practice ahead of Round 5 of the Thundersport GB motorcycle race series. As a competitive motorcycle racer I was challenging for consistent top 10 finishes in the hard fought Supersport 600 class, having secured a 3 hour endurance race win with Andrew Lund at the circuit 12 months earlier. Head down and four laps in I suffered a catastrophic brake failure resulting in my exiting the circuit at 120 mph crossing a few feet of rough ground before impacting the tyre wall followed by my 160kg race bike.
I suffered 19 fractures including breaking my back in 3 places, my neck, sternum and managed to puncture a lung having harpooned it with one of my 4 broken ribs.
If it were not for the reactions of the Thundersport medical team on circuit and the swift response of the Air Ambulance I simply would not be here taking on this challenge. During fleeting moments of consciousness through 7 days in acute intensive care it was first questionable if I would survive, having been stabilised, I was informed my most likely exit from hospital would be in a wheelchair.
You can break the body, but you can’t break my Spirit. (Nick Matthews : 2013)
On day 10 after extensive surgery inserting titanium rods into my back fusing 7 of my vertebrae, pins in my wrist, wearing a neck brace and sling, high on morphine and against all the odds I shuffled out of bed and stood up.
The medical profession were absolutely astounded at this and informed me it was truly remarkable and possibly only due to a strong will and good physical fitness that I had come this far, however I was told there and then that I would never run again.
Lying in my hospital bed unable to actually walk a step I refused to be beaten and right there made the decision that within a year I would compete in a MARATHON the full 26 miles 385 yards. The nurses said it couldn’t be done, my family thought I’d taken a knock to the head and my spinal consultant advised against it. There were two as crazy as me, both racing partners Adam Woby and Andrew Lund who committed to run at my side.
So here we are, welcome to my Just Giving page, I have decided that my inner strength is all I need, after all, they say running a marathon is all about what’s in your head. I cannot promise to break any records or beat any times but I will cross the finish line.
I thought long and hard about who I should support, the Trackside Medical Team ? No they undoubtedly saved my life but the guys were paid staff and whilst I have the utmost respect any money offered to the Circuit is unlikely to get to where I intend it to go, perhaps the same could be said of the two hospitals Wythenshawe and The Royal Salford - Hope that cared for and rebuilt me ? There is a candidate - The Air Ambulance, I was packaged up at the circuit and flown to the A&E department by a wholly charity funded organisation, whom again without, if I had of survived the arduous Ambulance ride across Cheshire those early warnings about wheelchairs and exits would more than likely have come true.
So that’s my story, that’s what gets me out of bed and exercising when its wet and cold and I ask you to join my quest now and be my motivation, every pound I raise will edge me on my journey, every painful, exhaustive step will be more worthwhile if you get behind my cause and join in through sponsorship.
Give a little or give a lot, just give what you can, for like me, you really never know when you’ll need these guys, until you’re in serious trouble.