Bingham man: 'Cycle helmet saved my life'
A MAN who fell off his bike and landed face-first on the road is urging people to use their head when it comes to wearing a helmet.
Chris Goldthorpe flew over the handlebars of his bike at 30mph.
"I had a helmet on and that saved my life," said Chris.
The 37-year-old salesman from Bingham can't recall exactly what happened in the accident last May, but he does know that he was found unconscious on the side of the road near Radcliffe-on-Trent. It was a group of strangers who saved his life.
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"One of the few sensations I've got from that morning is somebody holding my face together. They stopped the flood of blood and basically saved my life at the side of the road," said Chris.
"It's not a very nice memory and I'd like to say thank you to them because I didn't get to at the time."
Since his accident Chris has started a group on Facebook called 'Make cycling helmets a legal requirement for the UK and then the rest of the world' which has 399 members.
Between 2007 and 2011 there were 1,044 pedal bike casualties in Notts including nine fatalities and 222 serious cases. Last year six people died in cycling accidents.
Chris said: "Accidents will always happen but you can at least try and be a bit safer and wear a helmet."
Chris still suffered severe injuries – including a laceration to the upper and lower lip which required 50 stitches, a fractured bone in his neck and another in his back – and was taken straight to the QMC where he spent two weeks.
"I don't remember being taken there, all I remember is waking up with no teeth at 11pm," said Chris who then spent two months in a neck brace.
His surgeon Mr Andrew Sidebottom said that Chris could have suffered a "significant head injury" had he not been wearing a helmet.
He said: "The poor guy did a face plant. From his chin to his nose was split in two. All of his skin was split down to the bone.
"He saved his head but his face was the crumple zone unfortunately."
Mr Sidebottom deals with some of the most severe facial injuries from across the East Midlands.
He said: "I have to say that I would never let my children ride without a helmet. It's like wearing a seat belt in a car – it's a no brainer."