A BRAVE mum who suffered horrific injuries after a cycling accident is preparing to get back in the saddle for charity.
Gemma Thomas from Claines is determined to overcome her fears so she can cycle from London to Paris in July to raise funds for St Richard’s Hospice – exactly a year after her crash.
The 30-year-old was left with severe lacerations to her face, a head injury, cracked ribs and other bumps and scrapes after coming off her bike while riding with her family in the Forest of Dean last summer.
Despite recovering from the majority of her injuries, Gemma will still need some corrective facial surgery in the next couple of years and the mental scars of that fateful day run even deeper.
But Gemma, who is in the final year of a degree at the University of Worcester and also works part time there as a business support officer, said she was determined to pedal up some cash.
“As an avid mountain biker I went to the side of the trail over a jump at some speed,” she said.
“I have no memory of what happened next but woke up on the floor not able to move, with severe lacerations to my face, a head injury, cracked ribs and lots of other bumps and scrapes.
“I was on the forest floor for at least four hours before the ambulance were able to get access to move me.
“I was very distressed and knew it was serious but did not know how bad, I had no idea what was going to happen. Luckily some passers-by helped to look after the children until family arrived to take them home.”
Gemma said she was most looking forward to getting over her fear of cycling and proving to their children that they do not have to be scared of getting back on their bikes either.
“The challenges for us are huge,” she added.
“Firstly, getting back on the bike, which is going to be no mean feat.
“Secondly, having done no exercise for the past seven months there are a lot of pounds to lose and a lot of fitness to gain.
“We chose to raise money for St Richard’s Hospice for a number of reasons.
“They are the University’s charity of the year and we wanted to raise money for a local charity. St Richard’s Hospice offers such a valuable service at such a vulnerable time in people’s lives.”
Visit www.justgiving.com/Gemma-Thomas2014 to donate to Gemma’s cause.