Meet Simon

Patient story

Cycling events fundraiser

Simon’s story

Simon was cycling to work along the cycle path on Newmarket Road in Cambridge, when he was hit by a car.

On the morning of Monday 7 March 2016, a car which had just gone past him suddenly turned left and crossed the cycle path right in front of Simon. The side of the car struck Simon on his right side, and he was thrown into the air and landed on the road in front of the car. Simon then felt a wheel of the car go right over his shoulders and the car then came to a stop while he was still trapped underneath it. The driver stepped out of the car and started talking to him. Simon was still conscious but having difficulties breathing as he was pressed hard, face down against the ground. He was aware that his left arm was trapped somewhere underneath the car as his elbow was being held up from the road surface.

Initially Simon felt a lot of pain and soon began to drift in and out of consciousness. A bystander placed a jack under the car to slightly relieve the pressure on him. The first medical assistance at the scene was from the EAAA crew based at the nearby Cambridge airport. Simon can remember hearing EAAA’s Doctor Phil Morgan and Critical-Care Paramedic Gary Spitzer introducing themselves. A very clear thought running through Simon’s mind was ‘this isn’t how I want to say goodbye to my children’, and, remembering a friend who had been paralysed following an accident, was very relieved to find he could still wiggle his toes.

Simon was fitted with an oxygen mask, while the fire service worked to lift the car using airbags. In total Simon was trapped under the car for 20 minutes. Once freed, he was rolled onto a stretcher board where a pelvic and neck brace were applied, and was then transferred by road to Addenbrooke’s Hospital. Simon had suffered eight broken ribs, a fracture to the bone behind his knuckle, a chipped pelvis, a sprain to his wrist, and a number of abrasions. 

Simon can remember thinking ‘this isn’t how I want to say goodbye to my children’.

Simon was able to return home on Wednesday after two days in hospital and is recovering well at home, feeling very fortunate that his injuries weren’t more serious. He has been to visit us at our Cambridge base and to meet and thank Gary Spitzer for what he did on the day. ‘It was a great relief to know they were there, they were very calm and reassuring. It makes you realise what a valuable job they do when you are on the receiving end of their work, and the difference they make.’

Simon Denney meets Gary Spitzer

Being a keen cyclist, Simon’s fitness levels are very good and prior to the accident he was cycling an impressive average of 200 miles per week! Since his accident he has joined a gym and got back on his bike again completing a cycle ride of over 70 miles in less than three months after leaving hospital. He is hopeful that he will be able to take part in some long distance charitable cycle rides this summer.

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