August 23 2014 Latest news:
By Natalie Copeland
Tuesday, April 29, 2014
A speedway rider has vowed to ride again as he spoke about the accident which left him in a coma for 12 days after suffering bruising on his brain.
Darryl Ritchings, 19, who competes for the King’s Lynn Young Stars in the National League, was competing for hometown Elite League club Swindon Robins when it happened on April 3.
The teenager from Purton, Wiltshire, had made his debut for King’s Lynn just 24 hours before the accident.
Mr Ritchings, who has lost a stone-and-a-half in weight since the crash said: “I know I have to have the rest of this year off because I’m not allowed to ride a bike or have driving lessons or anything but, being completely honest, I probably will come back to speedway and race again.
“It’s hard to say yes or no for sure at the moment but when I am walking again I really hope I will be back.
“I can’t ride this season and that’s sensible because of the head and brain injuries I’ve suffered but if it was only my ankle I would probably be back on the bike as soon as I could walk.”
The young rider collided with Coventry reserve Jason Garrity during his Robins home debut against the Bees on April 3, hitting the Abbey Stadium fence.
After being knocked unconscious, he suffered a seizure, bruising to the brain and a broken nose and ankle.
Mr Ritchings, who has a 10 month-old daughter Poppy with partner Shelby, was transferred to the John Radcliffe Hospital in Oxford, before being woken on April 15 and was allowed to go home and recover with his family.
“All me and my brothers have done is ride bikes, it’s been our lives, and if I didn’t do it again it would be like losing a leg,” he said.
“I think my family will all be around me and I’m sure they will all support me if I decide I want to ride again.”
“To be honest I think when I get back going down to the workshop every day and things like that I will really start to miss it.”
Mr Ritchings, who now suffers with some headaches and blurred vision, hopes he will return to the track Thursday evening - but only as a spectator to watch the Robins take on Birmingham.
“Hopefully, if I feel alright, I will be up there but I will have to wait and see how I feel in the morning,” he said.
“I’ve been going out for little drives with my brother just to get me out of the house and we’ve been up past the Abbey Stadium and it’s felt a bit strange. It’s hard to take it all in.”