Stories from those taking part

The Coast to Coast Cycle Challenge is renowned for being an emotional and inspiring day out for everyone involved. That’s no surprised given the fact that the cyclists consist of patients who have experienced the work of the air ambulance first-hand and those who take part in memory of a loved one. Others get involved as part of a team or simply want to challenge themselves and support the Charity in return. In their own words, some of those taking part this year have kindly explained their reasons why.


AW169 HelicopterGiles Bissett

I will be taking part in the cycle challenge in memory of my father who sadly died 6 years ago. He had a heart attack at the wheel of his car and the local air ambulance attended the accident. They did all they could to try and save my father but unfortunately the heart attack he suffered was too severe. I must commend the staff as they were all brilliant and tried everything in their powers to help.

He loved this part of the world where we will be cycling and I am sure he will be with us all the way.




David Linney and Darren WayDavid Linney

I am the commercial manager at Yeovil Town Football Club and Darren Way is our current manager. Darren was a talented midfielder for the 'Glovers' for a number of years. He tragically had his career taken away from him due to a major road tragic accident back in 2011. Darren was airlifted to Dorchester Hospital where he was treated for multiple injuries.

After intensive treatment Darren made a miraculous recovery however unfortunately, his playing career ended in his 20's. Darren was airlifted by the Dorset and Somerset Air ambulance and is indebted and grateful for their marvelous response.

I have collected almost £500 from staff and players of Yeovil Town Football Club for this great charity.



Jacqui EasterbrookJacqui Easterbrook

We are very much looking forward to the up coming Coast to Coast Cycle ride for Dorset and Somerset Air Ambulance. My husband and I took part in 2015 with a couple of friends and I was thrilled with my achievement after many months of training and raised a nice sum of money too.

I had been in some pain though and waking up with numb feet, so I eventually after a couple of years of discomfort went off to see my doctor. Fortunately for me, they took it seriously and referred me to a consultant. In the meantime, we signed up again for 2016 Coast to Coast but just after enrolling I had my consultant appointment - the x-ray speaks for itself; I had a broken back!! I injured it badly when I was 21 in our speedboat but the casualty department at the time didn't x-ray it. So for 24 years it had been broken, but had got much worse. I had to have emergency surgery to screw and rod it all back together and have bone grafts to try to strengthen it. Without this, the smallest bump could have put me in a wheelchair. (So all the cycling I'd been doing on and off road mountain biking had been precarious to say the least!!)

After 6 months off work and a year of growing bone, I'm on the road to recovery. I still won't know if it's totally fixed until January 2018 when I have another CT scan. I did ask my consultant as I was being wheeled out of theatre into recovery if I could still do the Coast to Coast in a few months time; he did laugh a little.

But I am glad to say that this year, he has allowed me back onto my bike and I've been doing some training rides again. So a year and 4 months after my surgery I'll be riding with you again and I can't wait. I am so lucky to have found such an amazing spinal surgeon who really did work miracles. The Coast to Coast Cycle Challenge will be a huge personal achievement for me and proof that you mustn't give up.


janie fieldhouseJanie Fieldhouse

On the morning of September 13th 2015, Janie Fieldhouse suffered serious injuries whilst out cycling. She has very little recollection of what happened that day, but with the help of family and friends, has pieced together some of the elements and kindly shares them with us ….

“All I can remember is leaving my front door and cycling down the road on my bike.  The next memory I have is waking up in ICU at Southmead Hospital in Bristol.  I have been told that I was found by a couple who saw me lying in the road next to my bike; I believe they thought I was dead.  They went to a nearby farm and a young farmer called the emergency services.  He came back to the scene and covered me with a blanket whilst also giving advice as to the best place for the air ambulance to land.  Apparently he stayed with me whilst I was being helped by all the amazing team that were working on me and that at some point I had been talking to the air ambulance crew, explaining that my back hurt and not to call my mother as she would be so worried.

I was airlifted to Southmead Hospital where I was diagnosed with a broken back (T4 to T7 fracture) together with a broken jaw, broken ribs, brain injury and a missing a tooth.  Over a three month period I spent time in three different hospitals.

Now eighteen months on, I am still recovering and waiting for additional reconstructive surgery on my face, however I’m back on my bike and training for the 2017 Dorset and Somerset Air Ambulance Coast to Coast Cycle Challenge.   I’m also back working full time and although life has its ups and downs I’m so grateful to everyone who helped save my life.  I get extremely emotional whenever I see the air ambulance fly by; they truly are my heroes in the sky!”

All my love, Janie xxx

The crew who attended Janie’s incident were:  Dr Rob Török, CCP’s Neil Bizzell and Claire Baker and Pilot Max Hoskins.