Dad-of-three 'needed 200 stitches' on his head after coming off bike in Eastern Road in Portsmouth
A CYCLIST who needed 200 stitches on his head after coming off his bike has thanked two good samaritans and said: 'They saved my life.'
Groundworker Mark Ward, 40, woke up badly injured in the back of an ambulance —remembering nothing about the crash that happened moments after he split with a pal at the end of a long bike ride.
Dad-of-three Mark was left with a gaping hole in his left arm and a large section of his skull exposed, along with cuts and bruises, in the Eastern Road crash.
Police are investigating what happened but claimed Mark hit the kerb and went flying off his now-destroyed bike.
But he has praised two good samaritans, driver Andy Allen and a motorcyclist known only as Lance, who stayed with him to call an ambulance.
Speaking to The News after being discharged from Queen Alexandra Hospital on Tuesday, Mark said: ‘They’re brilliant, they managed to save my life.
‘If it wasn’t for them I would have got run over. I’m just sorry there’s not enough people like them in the world.’
Mark had been riding with Michael Trim, 41, down to Old Portsmouth, across to Hayling Island and back up to his home in Horndean after stopping off at a few pubs.
He said: ‘I honestly can’t remember anything, I can’t remember riding my bike or anything that happened from leaving my mate.
‘I just feel sore, it’s mainly my skin feeling a bit tight on my head.
‘I haven’t got mobility in my left arm — there was muscle hanging out my arm. I’ve got to go back (to hospital) on Monday.’
He said his dead grandfather and grandmother, who has recently died, were ‘looking down’ on him. He said: ‘She doesn’t want me to get up there yet, I suspect they want a bit of peace first.’
Labourer Andy Allen from Cosham, 39, said he is ‘not a hero’ for stopping to help Mark as he drove home from Sainsbury’s.
‘I've had first aid experience in the past so although it was a nasty wound, my main priority was to keep him still,’ Andy said.
‘He was trying to stand up and he kept calling himself an idiot.
‘It’s very humbling he said we saved his life but I think anyone would have done the same.
‘I am not a hero, it’s just nice to know he is safe.’
Mark, who said nurses lost count of the number of stitches but said it was ‘around 200’, added: ‘I said to my boss I’ll try to be back for Friday — he turned around and said “no”.
‘The police said I’ve hit the kerb and gone over the handlebars but my bike is totally mangled.
‘I must have been going at least 60mph for that to happen.’
Mark said he was not wearing a helmet at the time and added: ‘I have been grilled about that, I’ve learnt my lesson about that. I’m getting a full face one.’
His girlfriend Hayley Noon, 35, is looking after him at her home in Crookhorn. She said: ‘Where his skin got pushed, concertinaed back, they had to pull it back and saw inside and outside. Three-and-a-half hours they were stitching him up for.’
Mark’s brother Mike is trying to see if anyone saw the crash. He said: ‘I’m trying to see if I can get help to find witnesses.
‘They rushed him to hospital and they didn’t think he was going to make it through the night.
‘He had to have 200 stitches and plastic surgery on his arm.’
He added: ‘If you looked at his bike after the accident there’s no way you would think he had just fallen off his bike.’
A Hampshire police spokesman said: ‘We can confirm that we were called to the scene after a cyclist was seriously injured in an accident in Eastern Road southbound shortly after 9pm on Sunday, July 21.
‘We are investigating the incident and would appeal for any witnesses to contact us on 101. The officer dealing is PC Philip Robertson based at Havant Roads Policing Unit.’