From near-death to training for a debut marathon for Market Harborough man

Roger Freeman with Helen and Alfi.'PICTURE: ANDREW CARPENTER NNL-180314-095917005
Roger Freeman with Helen and Alfi.'PICTURE: ANDREW CARPENTER NNL-180314-095917005

In 2015, Roger Freeman “should have died” in a motorbike accident in Great Oxendon, near Market Harborough.

He had 14 broken ribs, three broken vertebrae in his spine and a leg that the smash had turned round the wrong way.

He was saved by brilliant doctors at the scene and a speedy transfer to hospital by Air Ambulance,

Three years on, Roger (41), who lives in Market Harborough, is attempting the London Marathon - having signed up without telling his wife!

“He wanted to do it last year” said his wife Helen, but he got a stress fracture of his knee.

“I think it’s going to be tough for him, particular because he can’t over-train, for fear of hurting himself again, and he can’t run very far.

“But it’s a challenge he needs to do for himself.”

Roger, who works as a driver for building suppliers CCF, will be raising money for the East Midlands Air Ambulance service.

He has become a real ambassador for the Air Ambulance, even giving a talk about his experiences at Leicester Cathedral in front of hundreds of people.

“My doctors said I should have died from my injuries” he explained to the Mail.

“I’m sure I wouldn’t be here without the doctors and without the Air Ambulance.”

His target is to raise £2,000 for the charity. You can donote to Air Ambulance via Roger’s justgiving page here: www.justgiving.com/fundraising/roger-freeman3

Roger completed a half marathon last year, with Helen, doing a steady four miles an hour.

Helen said: “He just told me ‘I don’t want to be last’ - and he wasn’t - but he struggled towards the end.”

But the selection process for the London Marathon means he hasn’t got anyone to accompany him this year.

“I’m worried for him” said Helen. “I’ll be trying to walk round with him - but not in the marathon.”

Roger says the marathon is “a gift for me to take part in, after everything life has thrown at me ... I will be doing everything I can, to make the finish line.”

He can’t remember anything about the crash itself.

“It’s been worse for my wife Helen” he said, “from the moment she got the knock on the door from the police, and that ‘are you the wife of Roger Freeman?’”

Helen says she and the couple’s son Alfi will be supporting Roger all the way.

She only had one demand after the accident. “If he rides a motorbike again, he’ll be divorced!”