Photo: Cyclists at the air ambulance's Double 100 Cycle Challenge last year
Cyclists are being urged to sign up for the Canterbury Bike Ride in aid of the Kent, Surrey & Sussex Air Ambulance next month (Sunday 25th September).
The ride starts and finishes at Canterbury Rugby Football Club with a choice of three routes – 85 miles, 55 miles or 25 miles.
The benefitting charities are the Kent, Surrey & Sussex Air Ambulance, Wheelchair Rugby and the Kent MS Therapy Centre.
One of the riders will be Canterbury Fire Station's Watch Manager, Mark Jones, who was airlifted three years ago.
He is aiming to complete one of the distances with his colleagues, having previously entered the event two years ago.
Mark, 51, was playing at Canterbury Rugby Football Club when he suddenly collapsed and suffered a cardiac arrest, but has since made a full recovery.
Mark, from Eastry, was taking part in an end-of-season friendly match between players and coaches
when it happened.
Colleagues and off-duty friends from the emergency services began CPR and used the club's defibrillator five times, to shock Mark's heart into re-starting after it had stopped for 15 minutes.
The air ambulance landed on the pitch and the charity's doctor and paramedic put Mark into an induced
coma, before airlifting him to the William Harvey Hospital.
Mark underwent surgery at the specialist coronary unit to clear a blocked artery and had a stent
fitted. He has since made a full recovery and helped to raise more than £5,000 for the air ambulance.
Mark said: "Without the immediate first aid and CPR undertaken, the early intervention of the defibrillator and the rapid transport to a specialist coronary unit, the outcome could and more likely would have been a lot worse.
"I am eternally grateful for the services and specialist medical care given to me by the fantastic staff at the Kent, Surrey & Sussex Air Ambulance."
The Canterbury Bike Ride has been sponsored by Barretts of Canterbury, Sally Hatcher Estates, Clague Architects, Dynamix Accountancy, Lenleys and Bang & Olufsen. To register, at £25 per person, go to www.canterburybikeride.co.uk