Monday, 29 February 2016

Son's bike challenge for father's lifeasavers

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

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.


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