A teacher who had to be airlifted to hospital following a crash last year has resolved to run the Chester Half Marathon to thank North West Air Ambulance and cover the costs of his unexpected flight.
On January 7, 2015, 35-year-old Paul Brand’s morning had started like any other, walking the dog before saying goodbye to his wife and young son James and setting off from his home in the Garden Quarter to work at Tarporley High School, where he was teaching English at the time.
But he sustained serious injuries – including broken ribs, collarbone and wrist – when his bike was involved in a collision with a car on the A51 near Tarvin.
Now Paul is gearing up to pound the city’s pavements next month in aid of North West Air Ambulance.
He said: “I actually hate helicopters! But I never would have expected to be travelling in one in the situation I did, and they so obviously provide such a vital service that it’s easy to forget that they’re a registered charity rather than being state-funded.”
A keen runner, Paul was ‘chomping at the bit’ to exercise again after his accident, so running the Chester Half Marathon seemed the perfect opportunity to repay the charity.
Paul has made a good recovery, but will probably never regain full flexibility or strength in his left wrist and now suffers from mild hearing loss and tinnitus as a result of his fractured jaw, which pushed up into his right ear canal.
“It is this that has had a detrimental effect on my career because the earache is aggravated by being in an environment with sounds all around me and I find it difficult to focus in such an environment,” explained Paul, who now has a hearing aid.
'Things could have been worse'
“The ear was initially viewed as a side effect rather than a serious problem and I had expected to be back at work by Easter last year so it has been frustrating learning to cope with this, but it’s always worth remembering that things could have been far worse."
While Paul terminated his contract at Tarporley High School in October last year due to the impact his injuries have had, he has been volunteering at The Children’s Society and is currently undertaking supply work as he considers alternative career options.
He is hoping to make his appearance at the Chester Half Marathon an annual event, ‘as a means of both raising a bit of money and reminding myself how lucky I am to have my health and fitness’.
If you would like to sponsor Paul, click here.