Photo: David Roberts and his father
A cyclist from Folkestone is to embark on a 360-mile bike ride from Arizona to Las Vegas to raise funds for the Kent, Surrey & Sussex Air Ambulance that saved his father’s life.
David Roberts’s father, David senior, was on a treadmill at his local gym when he suffered a heart attack and had to be given emergency treatment at the scene by the charity helicopter’s doctor and paramedic.
The 66-year-old was taken to the specialist coronary unit at the William Harvey Hospital in Ashford and later underwent a quadruple heart bypass. He has since made a full recovery following his heart scare four years ago.
Now his son and friend and work colleague Mark Randall are gearing up for the Unite & Bike Challenge to raise funds for the charity which relies almost entirely on donations.
David, 45, said: “The air ambulance saved his life and he wouldn’t be here without them so I felt I needed to do my bit.
“A friend of Mark’s was also airlifted so both of us have a personal connection with the air ambulance. It is a big challenge that we are taking on and one that we will need to do a lot of training for.”
The week-long Unite & Bike challenge starts at the Grand Canyon and takes in desert, forests, historic towns and parts of the famous Route 66 highway before finishing in Las Vegas.
Last year, ex-Royal Engineer David successfully completed the 420km Death Valley cycle challenge in south California.
The crane operator, of Valebrook Close, is aiming to raise £2,000 when he returns to the States in October, 2017, and can be sponsored at www.justgiving.com/David-Roberts66/
The cost of the trip has been funded by David and Mark so every penny raised from the event will go to the air ambulance.