Wednesday, 28 May 2014

Survivor's wife in charity abseil for Air Ambulance

Photo: Sue Barclay pictured abseiling the Spinnaker Tower on Sunday

A Banstead mother has abseiled a 560ft landmark to raise more than £3,000 for the Kent, Surrey & Sussex Air Ambulance that helped save her husband’s life.

Nigel Barclay, 47, was knocked off his bike by a car just yards from his home and suffered multiple injuries including a fractured skull, brain damage, breaks to both legs and a broken pelvis.

The father-of-two had to be given emergency life-saving treatment at the road-side by the helicopter’s doctor and critical care paramedic before being taken to a London hospital.

He has since made a good recovery following the accident despite being left with life-changing injuries.

On Sunday, (May 25th), his wife Sue scaled down the Spinnaker Tower at Portsmouth in aid of the charity helicopter, watched by a group of more than 20 family and friends.

She said: “It was amazing, it really was, and quite un-believable to get there, look up and think, ‘what have I let myself in for’.

“It was a bit un-nerving stepping over the edge and putting my trust in the harness and ropes but I felt very focused, the reason being the incredible amount of money that people have pledged and knowing what the Air Ambulance did for Nigel.

“He kept saying to me that if I didn’t think I could do it he would but there was no way I wasn’t going to do it. The worst bit was the build-up to it but I didn’t feel as scared as I thought I would and I felt sheer elation to get to the bottom.”

Sue was at home when her husband’s accident happened in March, 2012, and ran barefoot to the scene after a passer-by dialled the number logged as “home” on Nigel’s mobile phone.

He was taken to the major trauma centre at St George’s Hospital in London where he spent 12 days on life support in intensive care before being moved to a high dependency ward.

Scans showed he had multiple skull fractures, bleeding on the brain, two broken legs, a fractured pelvis in two places and a shattered elbow.

He underwent numerous operations, spent two months in hospital and had to learn to walk again before undergoing extensive rehabilitation, physiotherapy and hydrotherapy.

Each call-out of the Air Ambulance costs about £2,500 and Sue set herself a target of raising enough to fund one potentially life-saving mission. She has so far raised £3,030 and can still be sponsored at

Sue added: “There were lots of family and friends there on Sunday which just shows what a journey this has been for Nigel since having his accident.

“We have had great support from so many people and I think that is why we have reached what we have with the donations and everybody has been so generous.”

On Monday (May 26th), the Surrey-based Walk-A-Dog team also abseiled the Spinnaker Tower and raised more than £700 for the Air Ambulance.

Note to Editors: Nigel’s story can be found at

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