Expectant dad out of work after charity cycle crash

Graeme Beatty.
Graeme Beatty.

A father-to-be from Ballyclare is set to be out of work for a number of weeks after being seriously injured during a charity bike ride in England.

Graeme Beatty sustained a broken collarbone and torn rotator cuff during the incident on August 4 in Kingston, London.

Graeme, who works in a care home, has been signed off from work for at least five weeks. He is due to go for an assessment at the Royal Victoria Hospital on September 2 with the possibility of having a plate inserted in his shoulder.

If he undergoes this procedure, the keen cyclist faces up to an additional two months off work for recovery.

The Doagh Road resident and his wife Nikki are expecting their first baby on September 22.

Nikki is currently on maternity leave and with Graeme facing a lengthy lay off from work, Graeme has voiced concerns about bills and expenses.

Speaking to the Times, he said: “Myself and my brother Russell were 85 miles into the 100-mile charity Prudential Ride London when the freak crash took place.

“Russell stayed with me to wait for the ambulance and didn’t finish the race. I was on a spine board for around nine hours before being discharged from hospital. We then had to drive from London to Scotland to get the return boat home.

“I’ve been in a lot of pain since returning home and am sleeping for around three hours each night. It’s also been a worrying time for money. My wife is getting maternity pay and my sick pay is a good bit down from my usual pay.”

Following the collision, Graeme’s brother Russell has set up an online fundraising page in a bid to try and help the young family with expenses.

Graeme added: “I can’t thank Russell enough. He has been very supportive since the incident.

“He didn’t finish the race and remained with me the whole time. Another female competitor heard how Russell had stuck with me. She posted her medal to us because she said Russell was more deserving of it than she was.

“I’d like to thank everyone who has helped us. Hopefully my time off work isn’t as long as some doctors have indicated.”

If you would like to make a donation to help the Beatty family, go to https://www.justgiving.com/crowdfunding/graeme-beatty-cycling?fbclid=IwAR3VhrLz6xCJurnsaGPsFOmMu9fkthptUkiI6moFOGuT8eyvi9tvw75pQhk