Former patient Richard Hoare received life-saving assistance from Thames Valley Air Ambulance after the motorbike he was riding was hit by a Nissan 4×4 in Burfield, Berkshire in July 2013.

The father of two was thrown from his bike and knocked unconscious, with serious multiple fractures to his pelvis, open fractures to his arms, a broken shoulder and tears to his spleen. Fortunately for Richard, the motorist following him was an osteopath who gave him life-saving roadside resuscitation.

After being airlifted, Richard spent five weeks in John Radcliffe Hospital, Oxfordshire, where he underwent four operations to pin his broken bones. He finally returned to work after six months of gruelling rehabilitation.

Now Richard and a group of dads from the youth section of Camberley Rugby Cub are aiming to raise £7,500 for TVAA through a series of endurance challenges.

In February the men took up cycling to get fit for the London to Brighton and London to Paris summer rides, preparation events for the big one – Mount Kilimanjaro in January.

Richard says: “Since the accident, this has become a personal challenge to push myself to get fitter, lose weight and give something back to the air ambulance service. Without them I probably wouldn’t be here.

“This fundraising challenge has changed my life and those of us involved – there’s a growing group of about 20 guys in the rugby club who go out on Saturday for a cycle ride. It’s created a really good legacy and we’re all now really into our fitness.”

Richard will be joined by Ian Russell and Mark Wilde up Africa’s highest mountain, a trip they are all personally funding out of their own pockets so that every penny raised goes to the Air Ambulance.

In preparation for their big climb in January the team have just completed altitude training in London in order to test how they will cope with lower levels of Oxygen as they summit to 5,895 metres – the highest free-standing mountain in the world.

“The training was very good, three of us had very different results and it was very interesting to see the response and Co2 saturation changes and fitness is nothing to do with the ability to cope with the lack of oxygen,” explains Richard.

“We had a good talk about what kit to take and tips and tricks from the guys who did the climb earlier in the year that were very useful. Little things like getting dressed the night before in the kit you’re going to walk in tomorrow so that you don’t have to get changed out of a warm sleeping bag in the freezing cold air.”

To date they have raised £2,500 and welcome all donations, which can be made at:
http://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/team/TeamCRFC