The incredible story of crash victim’s recovery

Nick Matthews pictured with family and the Air Ambulance crew

Nick Matthews pictured with family and the Air Ambulance crew

Have your say

A motorcyclist who broke his neck and back in four places after a 120mph horror crash has astounded doctors by not only walking again but by taking on a marathon just a year after the smash.

After the accident, doctors told Harborough man Nick Matthews that he might never walk again but he is in training for the Berlin Marathon taking place in September.

Nick Matthews x-ray of his spine

Nick Matthews x-ray of his spine

The crash happened last June while the 47-year-old was practicing at Oulton Park Race Track in Cheshire for a motorbike race the following day.

He had forgotten to tighten his brakes and when he went to stop, they failed, and he was propelled into a tyre wall and was crushed by his bike.

Mr Matthews suffered a broken neck, broken sternum, broken wrist, six broken ribs and his collarbone was broken in two places.

He also broke his back in three places, suffered two broken fingers and a collapsed lung caused him to completely stop breathing.

Nick Matthews on motorbike

Nick Matthews on motorbike

Mr Matthews was airlifted to hospital by the Derbyshire, Leicestershire & Rutland Air Ambulance who he is running the marathon in aid of.

His target is to reach £10,000.

Dubbed the ‘bionic man’ by some, Mr Matthews said: “If it were not for the reactions of the Thundersport medical team at the race circuit and the swift response of the air ambulance I simply would not be here today

“During fleeting moments of consciousness through seven days in acute intensive care, it was first questionable if I would survive.

“Having been stabilised, I was informed my most likely exit from hospital would be in a wheelchair.

“On day 10, after extensive surgery which included inserting titanium rods into my back, fusing seven of my vertebrae, pins in my wrist, wearing a neck brace and a sling, high on morphine and against all the odds, I shuffled out of bed and stood up.

“The medical professionals were absolutely astounded.

“They informed me it was truly remarkable and possibly only due to a strong will and good physical fitness that I had come this far.

“However, I was told there and then that I would never run again.”

Lying in his hospital bed, Mr Matthews made a promise to himself that he would not only run again, but run a marathon, and following a training schedule that is exactly what he intends to do.

Haulage firm manager Mr Matthews added: “I have decided that my inner strength is all I need, after all, they say running a marathon is all about what’s in your head.

“I cannot promise to break any records or beat any times but I will cross the finish line.”

After the crash, medics on the scene found him barely conscious but saved his life by inserting a chest drain when he stopped breathing.

He was then airlifted by the air ambulance to the specialist Wythenshawe Hospital in Manchester in a critical condition where the full extent of his injuries were revealed.

Back to the top of the page