HUNDREDS of cyclists took to the streets for a mammoth charity trek – but one in particular felt very lucky to be there.
Dean Kelly was 12 miles into last year’s Beaverbrooks Windmill Bike Ride when he suffered a massive heart attack.
The 51-year-old had to be airlifted to hospital from the route and spent nine days in a coma, but 12 months on he was back in the car park at Fairhaven Lake on Sunday and raring to take on the challenge again.
Dean, from St Annes, said: “I had cycled 12 miles and that got me to Salwick, near the windmill, and I was with my friends.
“Then suddenly I don’t remember anything but I fell off the bike having had a heart attack and had to be airlifted to hospital.”
The quick response of the North West Air Ambulance saved Dean’s life, but he praises the actions of his fellow cyclists for saving him.
He added: “There were about five people on the ground who really did pull together.
“Other riders worked on me and that meant more of me came back.
“If they hadn’t done such a good job I might have come back brain damaged – or not at all.”
Dean was treated by staff at Blackpool Victoria and Royal Preston hospitals and underwent a quadruple heart by-pass, forcing him to spend six weeks in hospital.
But his ordeal did not put him off, and he joined the start line on Sunday ready to help the 700 other riders raise thousands of pounds for Trinity Hospice by completing the 46-mile course.
He added: “It hasn’t put me off, in fact it’s actually spurred me on.
“As soon as they told me I was going to have a by-pass I thought that was the end of my normal life.
“But then three months ago I was doing a 10-mile ride and I thought I could do this.”
Julie Swift, Trinity Hospice’s fundraising manager, added: “Dean rang up and asked if he could do it, and who are we to stop him?
“We always get a brilliant turn-out for the event and it was really good.”