'I thought I'd be left to die' - Chester Paralympic cyclist emotional thank you to flying medics

"I was terrified I would not be found in time, so when I heard the air ambulance arrive, the relief was immense" - Rik Waddon has spoken to Granada Reports correspondent Elaine Wilcox.

A Paralympian cyclist from Chester has paid an emotional visit to the North West Air Ambulance heroes who came to his rescue.

At the beginning of lockdown in March 2020, Rik Waddon was out on his bike training for the Tokyo games when he was struck by a motorbike and catapulted from his bike.

He was knocked unconscious and had broken ribs, a broken collar bone, a punctured lung and a serious gash to his arm.

Unable to move or call for help, it was sheer luck a passerby eventually saw him and the air ambulance was scrambled.

Paramedics stabilised his condition and gave him immediate pain relief. He was airlifted to the Royal Preston Hospital in a matter of minutes.

He had surgery for his collar bone and arm and credits the speed of the crew's response in minimising his injuries.

Although his Paralympic dreams were in tatters, Rik will always be grateful to the crews who came to his rescue and has now set his sights on qualifying for the Paralympic Games in Paris.

The North West Air Ambulance is a charity funded operation and doesn't receive any government or NHS funding and has to raise over £9.5 million a year to remain in the sky.

During the height of the pandemic, the service lost an estimated £71, 000 in revenue each month.