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Lucky escape for cyclist

View profile for Pauline Smith
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A man out for a cycle ride with a friend in Peterborough a couple of weeks ago, got more than he bargained for when the wheel of his bike hit a tree root and he fell off, impaling himself on a tree branch.

The man, whose name ironically, is Adrian Wood, cheated death as the branch skewered his jugular vein, voice box and oesophagus, ending two millimetres away from an artery. Adrian, 34, said that he couldn't feel any pain at the time, and unbelievably walked carefully away from the scene with the branch protruding from his neck. He later described the feeling of the branch bouncing against his shoulder as "sickening".

Following a friend raising the alarm, Adrian was rushed to Peterborough City Hospital where he underwent surgery in two separate operations, lasting over 11 hours. It is understood that when first admitted, Adrian was only given a 50-50 chance of survival.

Now recovering in hospital, Adrian confirmed his intention to carry on cycling eventually, and that the offending branch was to be given a new home, in a frame!

Cycling is obviously very in vogue at the moment as a way of keeping fit, on the back of last year's Olympic success stories and of course, Mr Wiggins and Mr Froome winning the Tour De France for the past two years. However, it does carry hazards, and figures for 2011 collated by RoSPA (Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents) showed that 107 people in that year died in cycling accidents, and a staggering 19,000 people were injured, over 3,000 of them seriously.

The RoSPA website has sound safety advice for anyone who cycles and anyone thinking of taking up this very on trend form of exercise should be encouraged to read this before attempting to cycle on or around public roads.

By Pauline Smith, personal injury department