A TT rider has said he feels 'overwhelmed' at the support he has received since crashing during a qualifying session at the Isle of Man TT.
Mike Booth was involved in an incident around 26 miles in to the Snaefell Mountain Course on Friday 3 June and suffered 'significant leg injuries'.
He has since had his right leg amputated after being transferred to Aintree Hospital in Liverpool for treatment.
In a statement he has said: "Losing my leg has been one of the most difficult things to get my head round".
He then continued to say: "Crashing where I did, could (and probably should) have been a lot worse."
He concluded by saying: "Messages and comments really have lifted my spirits, and helped me get through some of the most difficult days of my life. Thank you, thank you, thank you.”
Mr Booth was due to compete in his fourth Isle of Man TT when he suffered the crash on the final day of qualifying.
In a statement, Mike Booth's said: "First of all, I just want to say how humbling it’s been to have received so much love and support over the last few weeks.
"After I crashed at the TT on the last night of practice, I’ve been inundated with messages from people all over the world and it really has lifted my spirits."
He continued: “Both femurs were broken in the crash, but they were amongst the first to receive treatment, so I’m quietly confident about those, in the longer term.
“There is also some spinal damage, higher up the back, which could prove problematic, but needs more investigation before they can say for sure.
“The injuries to the lower legs were fairly serious, with some quite nasty bone and soft tissue damage. The left tib and fib have been fixed, and the docs said the operation went really well.
"Unfortunately, the damage to the right lower leg was too bad, and despite the surgeons’ best efforts, they weren’t able to save it, so one of the trips to theatre was to amputate my right leg, just below the knee.
“Losing my leg has been one of the most difficult things to get my head round and, if I’m being honest, the main reason this update has taken so long to come.
"It’s hard to explain something like that to others, when you’ve not really come to terms with it yourself.
“But the more I think about it, the more I realise that actually, losing a leg doesn’t have to be that big of a deal, if you don’t want it to be.
"I’ve seen people run marathons, climb mountains, race bikes and do all sorts of stuff, with prosthetic limbs. Things will be different, but it’s not the end of the world…. and crashing where I did, could (and probably should) have been a lot worse.
“Recovery-wise, it’s definitely not going to be speedy. All of my separate injuries are fairly hefty by themselves, and dealing with them all properly, all at the same time, is tough.
"The road ahead is going to be long one. And probably full of massive bumps and some seriously hard days. But I’ll be doing everything I possibly can to get as fit as I possibly can, as soon as I possibly can.
“And I’ve got some close family and friends around me that I know will be there for me every painful step of the way. I just really hope, for my future-wife Kaye’s sake, that I’m not going to be too horrendous to live with, when they eventually let me out of hospital.
“And I also know, from the past couple weeks, that I’ve got the entire 44Teeth community on my side.
"As I said before, your messages and comments really have lifted my spirits, and helped me get through some of the most difficult days of my life. Thank you, thank you, thank you.”
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