This summer is the 4th anniversary of my near-fatal cycling accident.
On the morning of 23rd August 2014 I set out from my home in Oxford to ride to Cambridge to have lunch with my father on his 79th birthday. I have made this trip many times, and I was expecting to ride back that afternoon. I was not far into the outward journey when I was involved in a serious high-speed collision with a car near Brill, Buckinghamshire. I landed with multiple critical injuries.
The Thames Valley Air Ambulance was summoned, bringing MJ Slabbert, anaesthetist doctor - and celebrity of the helicopter emergency medical world - to my rescue. MJ and her team saved my life that morning. They performed emergency surgery on me at the roadside before airlifting me to the John Radcliffe Hospital in Oxford.
I spent 10 days in a coma in intensive care and was in hospital for nearly a month. Basic recovery took a year or more. Now 4 years later I’m cycling the length of Britain to raise money for the Thames Valley Air Ambulance (TVAA).
TVAA trips cost £2,500 per flight. They carry more sophisticated equipment and a far higher skill level than a normal ambulance, effectively taking the hospital out to the field in a way that cannot be done otherwise, and the helicopter can get there fast when those minutes really count. They make three or more flights per day. And they receive no state aid.
I have been a long-distance cyclist all my life. By this point I must have ridden 100,000 miles or more without any incident involving road traffic collision. I have no understanding or explanation for what caused this one, but I know enough about what happened afterwards to be sure that my survival and recovery is little short of miraculous. You never know when something like this could happen to you.
On this ride, my aim is to raise £5,000 for TVAA, so I am cycling from Land’s End to John O’Groats – a distance of 1,000 miles – with the hope that 500 people will be able to sponsor me 1p per mile.
I will set off from Oxford on 22nd July 2018. First, I'll cycle from Oxford to Brill, the site of the accident. Then back to Oxford to catch the train to Penzance. I'll start my 1,000 mile cycle ride from the start of the road in Land's End.
Please pledge to help me reach my target!
And you're welcome to join me cycling from South Park to Brill at 10am on 22nd July. Join me!
There will also be a party for donors just after the 4th anniversary, in September 2018 - details to follow.
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