Family bike ride ends in helicopter flight to hospital

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(Pictured: Roger Moffat on his bike)

A man who broke his back in two places while on a family bike ride in Whinlatter Forest has praised
the teams who came to his aid.
Roger Moffatt, 57, from Kendal, had joined his two sons for a day of mountain biking, and hired an
electric bike to explore the trails.
What initially started as an enjoyable family day out on 18 March 2023, ended in a helicopter flight
to hospital.
Recalling the incident, he said: “On one of the downhill sections I mistimed a jump which sent me off
the track and down a steep drop. This led to me being thrown over the handlebars, landing headfirst
and going into some trees. I was fully conscious, but realised something was seriously wrong.”
Some of the cyclists nearby raised the alarm, and while waiting for the Keswick Mountain Rescue
Team (KMRT) to arrive, the ranger helped keep Mr Moffatt warm with blankets and started to cut
back some of the trees, so the path was more accessible for when further help arrived.
KMRT managed to park near to where Mr Moffatt lay, and they administered morphine and
stabilised him on a stretcher.
Due to the amount of pain Mr Moffatt was in, and a potential one-hour journey to hospital by road,
the Great North Air Ambulance Service (GNAAS) was requested to attend the scene.
It took 13 minutes for the critical care team from GNAAS to fly from their base in Langwathby,
Penrith, to the scene of the incident.
Their doctor and paramedic administered another dose of morphine and loaded Mr Moffatt onto
the helicopter before flying him to the Cumberland Infirmary in Carlisle in 14 minutes.
He was then transferred to the Royal Victoria Infirmary in Newcastle two days later and spent a total
of one week in hospital where he underwent scans and was given pain relief.
He said: “In hospital it was discovered that I had broken two bones in my back T5 and T6. They were
going to operate, however at the last minute decided against it as the risk and the way the bones
had broken meant it was better to let it heal naturally. There was then a healing period of six
months, attending hospital every six weeks to check for any movement.”

(Pictured: GNAAS helicopter flying to the scene)

Mr Moffatt has since regained most of his movement back and has praised the teams who helped
He said: “GNAAS were very professional and very reassuring. If it wasn’t for them being in
attendance and transporting me to hospital, I am sure I would have suffered much more pain and
could have aggravated the injuries which I had sustained. This could have potentially led to a longer
recovery time and more damage.
“I would like to thank all of the teams who helped with the incident on the day.”
GNAAS needs to raise £8.5m a year to remain operational. To find out more about how you can
support the charity visit:

(Pictured Roger Moffat being carried on a stretcher)
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