Wednesday, 30 December 2015

Survivor's triumph as he finally completes cycle challenge

Photo, L-R: Air ambulance Pilot, Captain Kevin Goddard, Peter Goatham and Paramedic Jez Harwood

A cyclist who survived a road accident and a cardiac arrest has finally completed a 24-hour bike ride in aid of Kent, Surrey & Sussex Air Ambulance.

Father-of-two Peter Goatham was training for the epic ride three years ago when he was involved in a collision with a car and suffered six broken ribs and a punctured lung.

The 53-year-old, from Sittingbourne, recovered from his injuries and started training again but then suffered a cardiac arrest while swimming at Reynolds Gym last year.

Peter, of Clive Road, was forced to stop cycling for a year but has now completed the 210-mile ride and raised £1,315 for the charity helicopter which relies almost entirely on donations.

He said: “I know I was extremely lucky not just to survive the cardiac arrest but I was also fortunate to regain a good level of fitness.

“I was determined to achieve my goal of taking part in a long distance bike ride to support the air ambulance.

“Although it wasn’t called out to me when I had my cycling accident and cardiac arrest, the medical care I received from the paramedics, doctors and nurses was first class.

“I’d also like to thank all the people who were there when I had my cardiac arrest because without their help I would not have survived and be able to raise money for such a worthwhile charity.”

Peter set off on his ride in September and passed through Gravesend, Seasalter, Folkestone, Dover, Sevenoaks and Edenbridge.

He was joined by his sons Michael, 20, Anthony, 23, and friend Owen Taylor as his route took him back to the scene of his accident in Bexhill, East Sussex, which left him in hospital for nine days.

He added: “The first 100 miles weren’t too bad and I did it in a reasonably good time but then I started getting tired after I reached Hastings.

“The hardest part was coming into the night stop at Dymchurch because my backside was no longer agreeing with the seat!

“When I got to Ramsgate I sat down and didn’t want to get up, I was absolutely shattered but it was fantastic to have my sons there for support.”

Peter successfully completed his challenge just a year after returning to work as a production operator at Kemsley Paper Mill following his cardiac arrest, and has previously completed the London to Brighton ride six times.

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