Paralympic double gold medal winner out of three week coma

Simon Richardson starts his recovery from hit and run training ride injuries

by Tony Farrelly   September 6, 2011  

road.cc news

Simon Richardson the double gold medal winning Paralympic cyclist has come out of the coma he was placed in three weeks ago after being seriously injured when he was hit by a van while out on a training ride near Bridgend last month.

The Porthcawl cyclist suffered two fractures to his spine, and breaks to his pelvis and breastbone and was having difficulty breathing unaided. The good news now according to his friend Phil Jones, who has acted as his unofficial spokesman during the past three weeks, is that Mr Richardson is breathing unaided and that the fractures to his back are healing well and are not as serious as first feared.

Phil Jones also posted a message on his blog from Simon Richardson to all those who have expressed their support for him over the past weeks:

"Thank you to everyone,  I've no re-collection of the past month of my life so to wake up and discover what's been going on is quite a surprise.  I'm shocked at the sheer numbers of people who have been so supportive and just how the cycling community in particular has supported my wife Amanda and sent their messages of support to me." 

According to Mr Jones now that he has regained consciousness Simon Richardson's is fully focussed on recovery and his next goal is to build up enough muscle strength lost during his three weeks in a coma to enable him to sit up unaided in a wheel chair so that he can begin rehabilitation work and move from an intensive care ward in to a trauma unit. He is though ahead of schedule in his recovery no doubt in part due to the combination of outstanding physical conditioning and mental toughness required of all those that excel at the top levels of sport.

In a grim irony Mr Richardson started competing as a Paralympic cyclist as the result of injuries received when he was hit by a car during a training ride in 2001.

In 2005, doctors persuaded him to start cycling again as part of his rehabilitation, and the following year who was racing for Wales on an adapted bike, powered by his right leg.
At Beijing, he won gold in LC 3–4 class kilo with a world record time of 1 minute 14.936 seconds. He subsequently added a second gold medal in the LC3–4 3km individual pursuit, and also took silver in the LC3 class road time trial.

A 59 year old man is currently on police bail after being arrested for the incident in which he was injured.