Fairfield man takes on marathon challenge for air ambulance after it helped save his life

Former cyclist takes on half marathon to raise money for air ambulance that rescued him following a mountain bike accident
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A mountain bike enthusiast, who says he owes his life to the Wales Air Ambulance, is throwing on his trainers to take part in the Cardiff Half Marathon next month.

Jonathan Bainbridge from Fairfield, will compete in the 13.1-mile race on Sunday, October 1 to raise money for the charity that airlifted him to hospital after he fell off his bike and landed on a rock. He not only lost his teeth but suffered facial injuries, a fractured jaw and was also hypothermic.

Jonathan, 44, had been camping with friends in Nant Peris in North Wales for a weekend of mountain biking and had gone to Coed y Brenin for the day to complete the Red Bull and MBR trails. After lunch, his friends decided they'd had enough riding for the day, so Jonathan headed out alone but unfortunately came off his bike at high speed.

Jonathan with his wife Charlotte and children Lucy and TomJonathan with his wife Charlotte and children Lucy and Tom
Jonathan with his wife Charlotte and children Lucy and Tom

It took six people to carry Jonathan down the singletrack decent on a spine board to a football pitch where the Wales Air Ambulance was waiting to airlift him to hospital.

Jonathan said: “I was in hospital overnight. As the swelling went down in my mouth in the following weeks, I started to feel something sharp under my tongue. It turned out that I had an open fracture which required surgery.

“I had my jaw wired closed and I couldn't eat solid food, so I learnt to liquidise all my meals. It took months of physio and acupuncture on my jaw, as well as many trips to the dentist to get my teeth repaired before I was back to full health.”

Jonathan, a senior human factors consultant, who works on the design of new medical devices, said he has never forgotten the exceptional care he received by the Wales Air Ambulance.

Jonathan BainbridgeJonathan Bainbridge
Jonathan Bainbridge

The father-of two subscribes to the WAA’s weekly lottery with the intention if he won, he would donate his winnings back.

To support Jonathan please visit his Just Giving fundraising page here

He said: “I haven't won the lottery yet, but I came across an advert for Cardiff Half Marathon and I was inspired to challenge myself in aid of the Wales Air Ambulance.

“Until I started training, I've never really run, other than trying to complete the NHS couch to 5k program multiple times. Since I decided to run the half marathon it's changed my perspective on running and I now actually really enjoy it.

“It's been a little tricky at times to fit in my training, with two young children and travelling for work, but with a little planning and many early starts, I've managed to follow my Garmin 13-week training program.”

Jonathan’s wife Charlotte and children Lucy, aged seven, and Tom, aged five, will be cheering him on along the route and he said crossing the line will give him a sense of pride and personal satisfaction.

He said: “I owe so much to the Wales Air Ambulance, in some ways, my accident was one of the best things that has ever happened to me. I used to live and breathe mountain biking, but it took my accident for me to realise that life is short.”

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