Tuesday, 3 April 2012

Charity bike ride must go on, say rescued cyclist's family

A cyclist has vowed to go ahead with a bike ride in aid of Kent, Surrey and Sussex Air Ambulance after his brother-in-law was saved by the helicopter he was raising funds for.

Ian Sheppard, 48, planned to join Peter Fletcher in the last 100 miles of a 450-mile ride from Land’s End to Dover this summer.

Peter, an account manager for Invensys Operations Management in Crawley, was training for the ride earlier this month when he was involved in a collision with a car near Canterbury and remains in a critical condition at the Royal London Hospital.

The original ride has now been cancelled but Ian, from Aylesham, and Peter’s family and friends will now honour his pledge to raise funds for the Air Ambulance by cycling from the helicopter base at Marden to Fowlmead Country Park.

Ian said: “ Peter will not be able to do the ride now but I am still planning to do a 65-mile ride. It was one of the things we talked about, me joining him to do that on the last day of his ride.

“He had already set up a Just Giving website page to raise funds for the Air Ambulance and we still want to raise as much as we can.”

Peter, from River, sustained life-threatening head, chest and back injuries and was given emergency treatment at the scene by doctors Mark Salmon, Ed Dennison-Davies and critical care paramedic Jez Loseby.

He has since regained consciousness and is still on the critical care ward where his wife Suzanne and family have been keeping a bedside vigil.

His daughter Danielle said: “This accident has come as a massive shock to me and my family.

“We are now determined to carry on his campaign to raise as much money as we can for the wonderful crew of the Air Ambulance without whom my father would not still be alive.”

Before the collision, Peter, 51, said: “Many of you know of the exceptional work carried out by this entirely charity-supported service and its personnel. Hopefully very few will ever need the service.

“The Air Ambulance provides a vital service which saves lives that would otherwise be lost.”

Peter raced at Crystal Palace as a schoolboy member of Crawley Wheelers Cycling Club and is a former president of Brighton Mitre Cycling Club and Preston Park Cycling Club where he coached juniors.

The ride will take place on Sunday, June 17th, and if you would like to make a donation visit www.justgiving.com/LE2Dover

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