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 on arriving home found my mum cooking roast beef for 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 made the mistake of putting the heavy shopping on my handlebars while cycling home, which unfortunately toppled me into the road into the path of a huge lorry.
“I suffered a compound fracture of the skull 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 month or so and was playing football again within a few months.”
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 had my heart set on running, but for those three weeks while I was visiting the physio I literally wasn’t doing anything and felt like I was losing the fitness levels I had worked so hard to build up. On the day, I was at the starting line praying my hamstring would hold up.
“Fortunately the hamstring held up but my legs were very heavy from the inactivity, but in the end I was pleased to manage a time of 3:56:30. All of my family came to support me at the London’s Air Ambulance cheer station and in total I managed to raise £3,187 for an amazing service that helps so many people across London survive.”