HE HAD made the jump hundreds of times before. But a freak accident on his mountain bike has left Alex Jones paralysed from the chest down.
The 38-year-old father-of-two from Horndean had fallen awkwardly as he attempted to ride over a mound in a field.
The impact crushed his spine, leaving him paralysed.
The accident last month has left Mr Jones, his family and friends devastated, not knowing what the future holds for him.
Family friend Martin Lyons, of Keydell Avenue, Horndean, said: ‘When I found out what had happened to Alex I felt physically sick.
‘He was so active and sporty – he was almost a kind of superman.
‘He’d come in from work, rip off his shirt and tie and get straight out the garden to play football with the boys.
‘He windsurfed and went snowboarding and was always out on his mountain bike.
‘He was such a fit guy.
‘I can’t imagine what he’s going through. I can’t stop thinking about it.’
After the accident Mr Jones, who is a divisional manager at recruitment company Matchtech, was spotted by a passer-by who called paramedics.
An attempt to airlift him to hospital was abandoned because of fog and he was taken to Southampton General Hospital where he was in intensive care for two weeks.
He is now starting his rehabilitation at the internationally acclaimed Stoke Mandeville Spinal Unit in Aylesbury, Buckinghamshire.
Mr Lyons will take part in the Great South Run this weekend to raise money towards Mr Jones’ future needs.
Mr Lyons’ wife, Sarah, said: ‘At the moment we don’t know what the future holds but Alex may have to have his house adapted or may have to move house.
‘He might need an electric wheelchair, we don’t know yet as it’s so early.
‘But we wanted to raise some money to give him, Andrea and the boys a safety net.’
Mr Lyons is hoping to complete Sundays’s 10-mile run around Southsea in under one hour 40 minutes.
So far the couple have raised more than £500 and are expecting even more once the run is complete.
To make a donation call (023) 9236 9077 or email
A Facebook page called Alex Jones (AKA Stig) Progress Page has been set up to keep friends and family updated.
Windsurfing was his passion
ADRENALINE junkie Alex Jones always loved to push himself to the limit physically.
He was a passionate snow boarder, windsurfer and mountain biker.
In July he took part in the Mega Avalanche high altitude mountain bike race through the French Alps – which only highly competent cyclists can compete it.
And 10 years ago he sailed from the Canary Islands to St Lucia in the ARC Race.
He met his wife Andrea when they worked for Sun Sail, based in Port Solent.
He is an experienced sportsman but when he fell off his mountain bike, in Rogate, West Sussex, he damaged the higher vertebrae C5 and C6.
Doctors have told him he is paralysed from the chest down but he has some feeling in his arms, but not his hands, which he is hoping to build on during his rehabilitation. He can now shave and brush his teeth.
Mr and Mrs Jones have a wide circle of friends who ran a daily food rota in the weeks after the accident.
So many people want to visit Mr Jones that a rota has been introduced.