A runner hit by a falling tree branch is now able to laugh at all the jokes about his escapade proving once and for all that keeping fit isn’t always good for you!
Simon Taylor, who this summer celebrated his 40th birthday, nearly didn’t make it to his 41st after being struck by a branch which broke off in high winds as he was running with a male pal along Rake Lane, Christleton , on Sunday morning.
Simon was concussed, suffered cuts to his head and a black eye but it was paramedics’ fears over possible spinal injuries that meant the air ambulance arrived on scene although in the end he was taken by road ambulance to the Countess of Chester Hospital .
Simon, head of finance at Sykes Cottages in Chester , who is now recovering at home in Huntington , recalled: “I didn’t really know what was going on. I was lying on the grass verge and thought – what’s happening here? I remember the helicopter flying overhead and thinking I might get a ride, which would have been cool.”
His running pal, from Hoole , did recall hearing the branch breaking and apparently shouted ‘Look out!’ but it all happened too quickly.
Amazingly, the first people on scene had some medical knowledge including a physiotherapist and a radiologist who asked him to say his name and what day it was. Simon, who was dressed in just shorts and a t-shirt remembered feeling freezing cold as he waited to be conveyed to hospital.
Simon’s friend accompanied him to the Countess and played down the incident to Simon’s wife Tara, a ‘natural-born worrier’, almost too well so that she took her time in making her way there while the pal was getting thirsty and hungry after the long run and all the drama.
The couple’s eight-year son Noah initially panicked on seeing the state of his dad, who was discharged on Sunday evening, but at least he had a good excuse for not doing his homework. But Simon wasn’t happy with Noah’s explanation to his teachers that daddy had been ‘hit by a stick’ although, having retraced his steps and tracked down the culprit, Simon acknowledges the branch was 'a bit smaller than I would ideally like’.
Simon insisted that Tara, who works for Chester travel firm Elegant Resorts, continue with her planned trip to a trade show in France as he recovers at home.
“In a way you could say how unlucky, it must be a one in a million chance that a branch comes down and hits you. But then you think about what could have happened if the branch had hit my head in a more sensitive area and you just don’t know, so I’ve decided I’m lucky rather than unlucky.
“On a negative point, I don’t think my wife will ever let me out if there’s a stiff breeze,’” joked Simon, who has been suffering from a dull headache and a sore neck, but intended to be back at work on Wednesday (December 2).
He has been monitoring comments on social media since the story first broke . ‘I’ve seen people saying ‘I knew being healthy wasn’t good for you!’. But it’s unlikely to stop the dedicated runner, who took part in the 2015 Bolton Iron Man – involving a run, a cycle and a swim – and pounds the roads ‘come rain or shine’.