When Matt decided to take on his first London Marathon he immediately knew which charity he wanted to raise money for. On 15th May 1995, when Matt was just 11 years old, he was treated by London’s Air Ambulance after he fell off his bike and was run over by a passing lorry. 22 years later, he expressed his gratitude by donning his trainers and running 26 miles for our charity.
Matt explains how it all began: “I was in year 6 and it was the first day of our SATs exams. I’d been to school, taken my tests and come home to find my mum cooking me a roast dinner. I remember that because it’s my favourite meal.
“She needed some milk and margarine so I rode down to the shops on my bike. That’s where my memory goes blank. I put the shopping on the handlebars and it was very heavy – on my way home it toppled me into the road and a huge lorry ran me over.
“My skull had a compound fracture and I was intubated at the scene by the London’s Air Ambulance team. The helicopter then airlifted me to The Royal London Hospital where I was operated and treated for a further week.
“I firmly believe that if it wasn’t for London’s Air Ambulance and the trauma team at The Royal London Hospital I wouldn’t have survived. Instead, I was back at school after a couple of months and was playing football again within half a year.”
Since then Matt has felt a deep connection with our charity. But while the decision to run for London’s Air Ambulance at the 2017 London Marathon was easy, training wasn’t all plain sailing.
“Everything was going really well”, Matt said. “But then three weeks before the marathon I tore my hamstring. I really wanted to run, but for those three weeks while I was visiting the physio I literally wasn’t doing anything. On the day, I was at the starting line praying my hamstring would hold up.
“My legs were heavy and I didn’t have much energy, but in the end I managed a time of 3:56:13. All of my family came to support me at the London’s Air Ambulance cheer station and in total I managed to raise £3087 for an amazing service that helps so many people across London survive.”