A MOUNTAIN biker who was put into an induced coma after seriously injuring himself on a forest trail has thanked the medics who came to his aid.

Ivan Astbury crashed his bike while cycling through Hamsterely Forest, near Bishop Auckland with his son, Matthew, on August 27.

The 55-year-old sustained a broken scapula, a bleed on the brain, nerve damage to his eye, a dislocated finger, a broken shoulder blade, bruising to his jaw and face and other numerous cuts and bruises.

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A doctor-led Great North Air Ambulance Service team airlifted him to hospital.

As his son, 28, had cycled on ahead, there were no witnesses to Mr Astbury’s crash, so it is cause is likely to remain a mystery.

Mr Astbury, from Bishopthorpe, York, said: “I don’t know what I did to fall off my bike, but the next thing I remember is waking up in hospital and wondering what had happened.”

At the time of the incident, his son was waiting for him to catch up some way down the trail. But when Mr Astbury failed to make an appearance, his son turned back and found his father lying on the ground.

He rang for the emergency services before ringing his mother, Sally, to tell her the news.

Mrs Astbury said: “On the phone Matthew said Ivan was talking so I thought he wasn’t going to be that bad. So when we found out Ivan had been put into an induced coma, it was a shock for both of us.”

The father-of-two spent six days in hospital, but has since made a good recovery, though due to the nerve damage in his eye, he remains unable to fully open his right eyelid.

Mrs Astbury added: “At the end of the day, I don’t know what would have happened if GNAAS weren’t there. I’ll always be indebted to these guys and I can’t thank them enough for their help.”

The GNAAS is a registered charity and flies three air ambulance helicopters to help those in need across the North-East, North Yorkshire and Cumbria. The charity’s doctors and paramedics bring pioneering pre-hospital care to the scene, rescuing hundreds of severely injured or ill patients each year.

It relies on donations from the community it serves.

If fit and well by next year, Mr Astbury plans to tackle the 20-mile route of the Hamsterley Beast off-road cycle ride with his son to raise funds for GNAAS.

To sign up to the Hamsterley Beast, which takes place on May 13, 2018, visit hamsterleybeast.com/entry

GNAAS needs volunteers to help the event run smoothly. For more information and to sign up, visit greatnorthairambulance.co.uk/challenges/event_volunteer/