A BARROW man who suffered spinal fractures and a bleed on the brain in a bicycle crash has thanked the charity that saved his life.

Nick Little, 47, is one in a line of people sharing their stories to celebrate the North West Air Ambulance’s (NWAA’s) twenty-first birthday.

He was cycling with friends close to the village of Broughton Beck, near Ulverston, when he mistimed a corner after overtaking and collided with a wall at speed.

Mr Little said: “I remember I was in shock at first, so couldn’t really feel any pain. I was more concerned my bike had been mangled.

“It wasn’t until I saw the look on my friends’ faces that I realised how serious the situation was.

“They were begging me to stay still, and I could feel blood pooling in my helmet. I was petrified.” 

The North West Ambulance Service soon arrived and called NWAA to the scene for an airlift to Royal Preston Hospital.

Mr Little suffered three fractures to his spine and a bleed on the brain in the incident in July 2017, as well as numerous cuts and bruises. Miraculously, he was discharged just five days after his admission.

He said: “One momentary lapse of my concentration nearly cost me my life, and if it wasn’t for the heroic work of NWAA, my friends, the mountain rescue team and Dr Brankin [a local GP who chanced upon the scene after Mr Little’s crash] I simply wouldn’t be here today.” 

Less than six months later, Mr Little was back on his bike, determined to overcome his fears and enjoy his hobby again.

Around two years after his accident, Mr Little completed the Fred Whitton Challenge, a ride of more than 100 miles which starts and finishes in Grasmere. He helped raise £900 for NWAA in the process.

Helicopter Emergency Medical Service paramedic Deborah Rigg, one of the crew members who treated Mr Little on the day of his accident, said: “

It was wonderful to see Nick back on his bike raising funds for our amazing charity.”

Mr Little said: “Immediately after the crash, when I realised how serious things could be, all I could think about were my wife and daughters.

“I just wanted them to be okay no matter what happened to me. 

“I’m so thankful I’m still here with them.”