A MAN who suffered catastrophic injuries in a cycling accident – including a broken back, punctured lung and bleeding on the brain – has a new lease of life since surviving the incident.

On January 8, 2017, Anthony Rowan's daily bike ride to the gym turned into a disaster when he fell off and hit his head.

Mr Rowan, from Murton, County Durham, cannot remember the accident at all.

The 47-year-old said: “From what I have been told I think my bike slipped on wet leaves or mud and I went over the handlebars and hit my head on a concrete post.

“I had a cut to my head with substantial swelling and I was placed in an induced coma on the roadside.

"I broke my back in three places, had a punctured lung, and bleeding on the brain.

"They bandaged my hands too, like boxing gloves, because I kept pulling out my feeding tubes."

The Northern Echo:

Mrs Rowan had been at work for less than 30 minutes that day when police arrived to say her husband was in a critical condition after a cycling accident.

She said: “By the look on their faces I knew it was serious. I said ‘is he alive?’ and they said ‘yes, at the moment’. They took me straight to the Royal Victoria Infirmary (RVI) in Newcastle.”

The Northern Echo:

Mr Rowan, who is originally from Liverpool, spent five weeks in the RVI but has since made a full recovery.

After 25 years in the army – 18 as a physical trainer– he has decided life is too short and is pursuing a new career after landing his dream job as prison officer at HMP Durham.

He said: “I went for the job and got it. Then I went through ten weeks of training to qualify as a prison officer. It’s all thanks to GNAAS that I have been able to do this.”

The Northern Echo:

Mrs Rowan paid tribute to the Great North Air Ambulance Service and the North East Ambulance Service for their work in keeping her husband alive.

She said: “The doctor at the RVI told me that the work that had been done on the roadside to help Anthony had been crucial and they had probably saved his life.

“Walking into the hospital was horrendous. Anthony was in a coma and he had a neck brace on, bandages all over and he was on a ventilator. My daughter and son were also there, and they were just teenagers at the time so you can imagine the shock.”

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