A mountain biker who broke his neck in a horror crash has got back in the saddle to raise money for the emergency medics who rescued him.
Rob Hobson, aged 50, was riding in Wharncliffe Woods, Grenoside, when he was thrown over the handlebars on a steep descent and landed head-first on rocks.
The dad-of-two said he knew straight away that he had done something serious.
Rob said: “I hit the rock so hard, I remember thinking how on earth am I still conscious, and then I realised I couldn’t feel anything from the neck down. That was pretty scary.”
Rob’s rescue featured on an episode of Helicopter ER, the UKTV series which follows the life-saving work of Yorkshire Air Ambulance.
With the help of mountain rescue, Rob was airlifted to Northern General Hospital where scans revealed he had broken his neck.
Surgeons inserted a metal plate between his damaged vertebrae and Rob spent over three weeks in hospital and a further six weeks in a brace at home, barely able to move.
Extensive physiotherapy and plenty of determination meant Rob was able to return to work in September, six months after the accident.
“At the beginning the only thing I could do was sit up in bed,” said Rob, a contract manager.
“Although I was very fit the muscles deplete so quickly that I had to learn to walk again. I thought I was going to spend the rest of my life in a wheelchair and I can’t thank the air ambulance guys enough for what they did.”
"Movement returned quite quickly in my legs but my left arm did not come back for several weeks and I still get a burning ache in my arms and shoulders because of the damage in the spinal cord."
Last month Rob and seven friends completed the Pennine Bridleway Challenge – 170 miles of mountain bike trails and more than 20,000ft of ascent in just four days – raising over £4,000 for Yorkshire Air Ambulance and the Woodhead Mountain Rescue Team. Rob joined them for the last 12 miles of the route.
If you would like to donate, visit: http://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/fundraiser-web/fundraiser/displaySomeoneSpecialPage.action?pageUrl=Rob_Hobsons_Pennine_Way_Challenge
Rob's dramatic rescue was shown on Helicopter ER on reality channel Really last week.