Photo: Ryan pictured at The Major Series on Sunday
A mountain biker airlifted to hospital by Kent, Surrey & Sussex Air Ambulance completed a gruelling Army obstacle race in aid of the life-saving charity at the weekend.
Ryan Payne, 20, from Snodland, suffered serious chest and abdominal injuries after he landed on a tree stump when a jump went wrong at an off-road cycling track at Penshurst.
He was treated at the scene by the helicopter’s doctor and paramedic before being flown to a London major trauma centre but has since made an almost full recovery.
On Sunday (March 30th), he ran a 10km assault course at Eridge Park including deep stench trenches, balance beams, blockade walls, wobbly bridges and a freezing ice crawl.
Set in 3,000 acres of hills, lakes, open parkland and mud, The Major Series was designed by British Armed Forces personnel and Ryan was 344th out of 1,676 runners, crossing the finish line in 1hr, 37mins.
He said: “The main reason why I wanted to do it was because I was airlifted. That was my incentive to raise money for the Air Ambulance. It was very muddy and a lot of hard work.
“There was one point where I was in a pit up to my chest in boggy mud but despite that it was great fun and I had a massive smile on my face.”
Following Ryan’s accident last May, paramedics from the South East Coast Ambulance Service (SECAmb) were first on scene and called in the Air Ambulance due to the severity of his injuries.
The helicopter’s doctor, Mamoun Abu-Habsa, and Paramedic Lewis Price gave him strong pain relief at the scene before flying him to King’s College Hospital in just 12 minutes.
Scans at the hospital showed he had a lacerated liver and broke two bones in his spine. He has since lost the use of one kidney and also suffered nerve damage to his right leg.
His mother Karen said: “If it wasn’t for the excellent care and quick thinking of the medical staff on the helicopter it could have been even worse.”
Ryan spent a month in hospital before he was finally allowed back home. He has so far raised almost £200 for the Air Ambulance from Sunday’s run and is now planning a 60-mile bike ride later this year.
* If you would like to make a donation to the Air Ambulance please call 01622 833833 or go to www.kssairambulance.org.uk