A cyclist who nearly died after being hit by a car is to pedal along the same stretch of road near Melton as part of a fundraiser for the air ambulance charity he credits with saving his life.
Richard Kershaw was one of four cyclists who were hit by an oncoming vehicle on the outskirts of Eastwell in March 2017.
He was airlifted to hospital by a crew from the Derbyshire, Leicestershire and Rutland Air Ambulance and spent 14 months recovering from his injuries and learning to walk again.
And Richard will on Saturday September 7 join members of his ØVB Cycling Club in a sponsored 70-mile ride from near his West Bridgford home to Plungar and on to Melton and back again, taking in that same stretch of road where his horrific accident took place.
He is determined to take on the challenge to repay the support he received from the emergency services that day.
Richard (42) said: “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 three 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.”
The father-of-two has no memory of his accident or the four-and-a-half weeks he was in the intensive care department at Nottingham’s Queen’s Medical Centre, where the air ambulance flew him to in just eight minutes.
He spent just under seven weeks in hospital and had nine operations before he was fit enough to return to his job as a flood risk engineer 14 months later.
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 last year.
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,” said Richard.
He added: “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.”
Richard has set up a JustGiving page at www.justgiving.com/Rich-Kershaw-AA-Ride for anyone who wishes to sponsor him.