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Spending birthday cash on PS79 cycling helmet saved my life; BOY ON MEND AFTER MINIBUS CRASH.

Byline: MARI JONES Daily Post Reporter mari.jones@trinitymirror.com

A 12-YEAR-OLD cyclist who spent five days in intensive care after a horrific crash says he owes his life to his bike helmet.

Evan Burgess fractured his skull and broke ribs, a collarbone and femur when he collided with a minibus.

Although still wearing a brace to support his spine, he says he can't wait to get a new bike with the money his friends raised for him after the accident in March near Trefriw in the Conwy Valley.

But Evan and his father Tom agree that, without the helmet, the outcome could have been very different.

"I remember 30 seconds in the descent from Llyn Crafnant, and then nothing at all for five days," said Evan, from Llanrwst.

He came face-to-face with the minibus on a blind bend and ended up underneath before being airlifted to Alder Hey Children's Hospital, Liverpool.

"My helmet saved my life," said the Ysgol Dyffryn Conwy, Llanrwst, pupil. "It was the best investment I ever made. paid for it with my birthday money. It cost PS79.

"I've just been to my old primary school to tell the kids always wear their helmets." Evan is now back at school, where he was given a hero's welcome by his classmates.

He said: "It's been really humbling, as friends at school, Nant Conwy Rugby Club, Llanrwst United Football Club, and bike clubs, Clwb Dyffryn Conwy and Rhyl Cycle Club, have raised PS700 for a new bike.

"The accident hasn't put off. I can't wait to get back the bike, although I'll probably stay away from that Crafnant route for now.

"I'd just like to thank everyone Welsh Air Ambulance, the man who was driving the minibus who helped me, and the staff at Alder Hey."

His father added: "Thank goodness he always rode with a helmet on. When you see the damage it sustained, it's easy to believe it saved his life.

"There is no question that without it the outcome would be very different."

" Mr Burgess said the family are "very proud" of how Evan has reacted to what happened, adding: "Evan's recovery is going really well. He's got suchpositive attitude and is working hard to get back on his bike as soon as possible.

"We've had so much support from people locally, and Welsh Cycling arranged a get-wellsoon video message from Geraint Thomas [Welsh Olympic gold medallist - himself injured yesterday in a crash with a police motorbike in the Giro d'Italia]. One of his friends from Rhyl Cycle Club managed to get a message to Tour de France winner Chris Froome, who sent a shirt and some goodies over.

"Another mate from school got in touch with Stoke FC, who Evan supports, and they sent back a really nice letter with an invitation to come and watch a game next season."

He added: "A special mention has to go to Llanrwst United. Evan only started playing for the under-12s after Christmas but, after his accident, they made a big effort to ensure he was involved in their very successful end to the season, ensuring he got winners' medals for their victories in the Conwy League and North Wales cup.

"He is still wearing a brace to help support his spine while the damage to his vertebrae heals, but hopefully that should be off in a few weeks."

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Publication:Daily Post (Conwy, Wales)
Date:May 15, 2017
Words:562
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