South East Wales

Paralympian Simon Richardson 'out of intensive care'

Simon Richardson welcomes a visit by friends Dave Hart and Magnus Backstedt
Image caption Simon Richardson welcomes a hospital visit by friends Dave Hart and Magnus Backstedt

A Paralympic champion cyclist, seriously injured in a road crash, is said to be making excellent progress.

Simon Richardson, from Porthcawl, had been critically ill in hospital since a hit-and-run crash with a van while cycling near Bridgend on 17 August.

Friend and sponsor Phil Jones said the Paralympian medallist was coming round after three weeks of sedation.

"He's coming on with incredible leaps and bounds - he's off the intensive care unit which is fantastic news."

Mr Richardson, who won two gold medals and a silver at Beijing in 2008, was injured in a collision on the A48 outside Crack Hill House, Bridgend.

He was taken by air ambulance to the University Hospital of Wales, Cardiff, where he has been treated for multiple injuries.

Mr Jones said the cyclist had lost a lot of weight but was mentally strong.

"He's a little groggy after being comatose for three weeks, but he's waking up and making sense of things," he said.

"He's very gaunt, has lost a lot of weight, but the medical team say he's making outstanding progress - he'll possibly be out of hospital sooner rather than later.

"The breaks in his back are not as severe as was first thought and are all healing to plan.

"The primary reason for his being critically ill was his breathing - after treatment for a blood clot he can now breath unsupported.

"He's even talking about getting back on the bike - he's quite an awesome guy."

Image caption Simon Richardson won three medals at the 2008 Beijing Paralympics

Mr Jones posted a message on his blog from his injured friend.

The Paralympian said: "Thank you to everyone, I've no re-collection of the past month of my life so to wake up and discover what's been going on is quite a surprise.

"I'm shocked at the sheer numbers of people who have been so supportive and just how the cycling community in particular has supported my wife Amanda and sent their messages of support to me."

Following a hospital visit, Magnus Backstedt said via Twitter: "Been to see @CyclingSimonMBE in hospital, this guy is unbelievable. Mental strength he has could make the world turn other way."

Mr Richardson became a Paralympic competitor after suffering leg and back injuries in a previous road accident involving his bicycle and a car in 2001.

More on this story

Related Internet links

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external Internet sites