A MAN who was left bed bound after a crash is now raising money to say thank you to the paramedics who saved his life.

Nick Copson, from County Durham, is ‘hand cycling’ for the Great North Air Ambulance (GNAA) which saved his life in 2018.

Mr Copson was driving to work when he was involved in a collision on the A68. Paramedics from both the GNAA Teesside and GNAA Cumbria raced to the scene.

Mr Copson said: “I was told I would never be able to walk again – I am just glad to be alive. It’s down to the air ambulance and their team of paramedics that I am here today.”

The paramedics and trained trauma consultants helped save and nurse Mr Copson so that he could start the long road to recovery.

After spending 20 months in hospital and care home setting. A double amputee with spinal injuries and being bed bound Mr Copson has also had to deal with bedsores, sepsis and Covid. However, nothing could break his spirit.

Now he is raising money by hand, cycling 100 miles in August. He is hoping to do at least five miles a day. He will take the weekends off so that his body can repair and rest.

His wife Nikki Copson, who has been at his side since the accident said: “We’ve had dark times but he’s strong and he has a good sense of humour which has got us through.”

Mr Copson added: “I am truly grateful to be alive, and there have been dark times but I have got through them.

“This is progress as this time last year I could not lift anything and a couple of months ago I couldn’t do more than a mile. I am building my strength back up.

"Doctors at James Cook have told me they learnt a lot about how to treat others with similar injuries from me – I pushed all medical boundaries.”

The Great North Air Ambulance is not funded by the government and relies on charitable donations to keep flying. Covid has not helped, while the helicopters are still called out many fundraisers such as the Great North Run have been cancelled.

Mr Copson intends to raise £100,000 to reflect the 100 per cent care he was given by the paramedics who tended to him after the crash. He has set up a Just Giving page for donations and is hoping to get others inspired to join in and raise money.

You can find out more about Mr Copson's fundraising challenges from his blog 'Nick's Last Steps' which is where he documents his journey back to health and where he announced his challenge and threw the gauntlet down for others to take part. 

Mrs Copson added: “Paramedics at the air ambulance are desperate to meet him one day. It's getting closer to when Nick can use a wheelchair and visit them face to face.

“I don’t think you realise, until you use the service, how phenomenal they are and I can't speak more highly of them. They are so humble as well, they saved my husbands life but its all part of their day job.”

The couple are now writing a book about their experiences in-hospital care and reflecting on the last few years in order to give others in the same situation hope.