A Rotherham groom who suffered a devastating bike crash just days before his wedding day, hopes to raise thousands for Sheffield Hospitals Charity to thank staff who treated him.
Liam Reid, aged 32, from Rawmarsh, was cycling home from work when he was struck by a car, leaving him with a broken knee and needed an urgent blood transfusion.
At first doctors thought it would be impossible for him to make his wedding day, but a remarkable recovery meant he defied expectations and was well enough to get hitched that weekend.
He said: “I was cycling home from work when I was hit by a car. When it happened, I had never experienced so much adrenaline. There was lots of blood and I was laid face down on the road, but I thought I’d got away without serious injury.
“I managed to phone my fiancée, Jemina, who was on her way to our photographer to pick up the guest book for our wedding, which was just days away. It was a horrible call to have to make.
“As I was waiting for the paramedics, a passer-by who just happened to be a first aider, bandaged me up. To this day, I wish I’d got his name to say thank you.
“An ambulance rushed me to the Northern General Hospital where I had numerous scans and x-rays. I also needed a blood transfusion. The x-rays showed that I had a broken knee, and that I’d chipped the front of my knee cap.
“A surgeon came to speak to my fiancée and I and told us that they would need to operate either the same night or the following morning. We brought up the fact that we were getting married in six days, but we were told in the nicest way possible that it wouldn’t be possible for the wedding to go ahead.
“The operation all went well so, feeling positive, Jemina and I had a chat with the ward manager about the possibility of getting married on Saturday. She gave us list of things I would need to be able to do before I could be discharge, like standing up, going to the toilet and lifting objects off the floor.
“As the week went on we worked really hard on meeting all of these objectives. One nurse called me ‘Mr Groom’ all week which meant a lot, as it gave me confidence. By Friday, my fiancée had sourced a wheelchair with a leg extension and a big car. But we still didn’t know if it would be possible for the wedding would go ahead.
“Then on the Saturday morning, it was confirmed that I was allowed to get married, with the agreement that I needed to come back the next day for further help.
“It was such a lovely wedding, if a bit surreal given the extremely unusual build up to it. The first time I had sat in a wheelchair in my life was being pushed down the aisle by Jemina. Our honeymoon was spent at the hospital, but it was still a celebratory occasion with lots of wedding cake.
“Later that week I was finally discharged from hospital, but it wasn’t easy. I had to get used to being immobile as I’d done so much damage to the front of my leg. I was in a wheelchair for around two months, then after physiotherapy and hydrotherapy I learned to walk with crutches.
“The biggest blow for me was that I might not be able to cycle again. I’m mad keen on cycling so that was really hard to come to terms with.
“Now I have a dream! I’ve set myself a challenge to raise funds for all of the staff who helped and supported me – and were able to get me to my wedding.
“On August Bank Holiday next year I’m taking part in a Coast to Coast bicycle ride with twelve of my friends, for Sheffield Hospitals Charity. I’m not back on a bike yet, but I’m taking a leap of faith and setting myself that goal, as I think I can do it.”
Liam hopes to raise £1,000 for Sheffield Hospitals Charity. To sponsor him, visit https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/impossible-coast-to-coast