Paralympic cyclist Simon Richardson, who was left with severe spinal injuries following a hit-and-run last month, has woken from the induced coma doctors placed him in.
The Beijing gold medallist suffered multiple fractures to his spine, a double pelvis break and a broken sternum in the incident near Bridgend, Wales on 17 August. He's now awake and breathing unsupported, and doctors believe the back injuries he suffered aren't as bad as first feared.
Phil Jones, a close friend of Richardson, has been keeping supporters updated via his blog and posted this message from the Paralympian on Sunday night:
"Thank you to everyone. I've no recollection of the past month of my life so to wake up and discover what's been going on is quite a surprise. I'm shocked at the sheer numbers of people who've been so supportive and just how the cycling community in particular has supported my wife Amanda and sent their messages of support to me."
Now he’s awake, doctors are fully focused on Richardson's recovery. The next step is for him to be able to sit in a wheelchair unaided before they can consider moving him from the high dependency unit to a trauma ward.
Richardson was previously injured in 2001 when he was hit by a car while out with his cycling club. He started cycling again on the advice of doctors, using a specially adapted bike powered by his right leg. After bringing home two golds and one silver medal on the track at the 2008 Paralympic Games in Beijing, he was made an MBE for services to disabled sport.