On Saturday 27th June 2015, Simon and his 13-year-old son, Euan, ventured to Willingham Woods near Market Rasen for a day of fun and laughter on their mountain bikes. On their way back to the car, they decided to go for one last run on their bikes.
Recalling what happened on the day, Simon says: “We’d had plenty of fun in the morning and set off for our final run – something one should never say for obvious reasons! I remember turning to Euan to say, ‘Come on, let’s give it some wellie!’”
Simon set off, and Euan duly followed. Simon took a slight jump, where he hit the floor and flew off his bike. Euan rushed to his dads’ side, and from that moment, he knew something was seriously wrong. Euan immediately began to reassure his dad and tell him everything will be okay. Simon’s breathing became erratic, and his eyes began rolling towards the back of his head. Euan instructed his dad to calm his breathing whilst he rushed to find help nearly.
Simon added: “When I hit the dirt, I instantly knew I would be off work for a few days! It was the most excruciating pain I have ever known.
I was in and out of consciousness
“Euan was incredible, it was a total role reversal! He said I became clammy and very pale, and told me not to move whilst he went to find help. I was in and out of consciousness, and the next thing I remember, Euan was back holding my hand telling me everything would be okay. He didn’t leave my side.”
That’s when the Lincs & Notts Air Ambulance was dispatched to the scene.
Within a few minutes, Simon was surrounded by a group of bikers, who suggested that a first responder be called. Once they arrived at the scene, responders assessed Simon’s injuries and knew it was much more serious than anticipated. That’s when the Lincs & Notts Air Ambulance was dispatched to the scene.
Simon recalls: “I still can’t remember the Lincs & Notts Air Ambulance arriving – the noise, the downdraft… it’s pretty amazing I didn’t hear it, considering how close the helicopter was!
“Euan stayed by my side the whole time. Still to this day, the love, strength, and support he showed brings tears to my eyes.”
The Lincs & Notts Air Ambulance swiftly arrived at the scene. Simon was placed on a stretcher and was whisked off to Hull Royal Infirmary in just 6 minutes – a journey that could take up to an hour by land.
Simon suffered multiple fractured ribs, a broken clavicle, a double fracture to his pelvis, a punctured lung, a fractured vertebra, and significant soft tissue damage. He remained in intensive care for 3 days and was told his injuries suffered would normally be associated with someone hitting a concrete object at 70mph.
He explains: “I have no real memories of my first few days in hospital – only very vague memories of gentle hugs, kisses, and lots of tears when my wife, Euan, and his sister Imogen arrived.
“After I had been in hospital for a week or so, I asked Euan what he was thinking as he saw the helicopter door close. The response from my 13-year-old son was “I didn’t think I was going to see you alive again.”
“That is something I will never forget – those words will resonate with me always.”
Simon has taken on several challenges in aid of the Lincs & Notts Air Ambulance
Following his horrific biking accident in 2015, Simon has taken on several challenges in aid of the Lincs & Notts Air Ambulance, including the London Marathon. He raised an incredible £9,200 – enough to fund four of our potentially life-saving missions!
Simon added: “What was meant to be a day of fun on the bikes with my son ended as a real life-changing experience. I am eternally thankful to the Lincs & Notts Air Ambulance for helping to save my life.”