Biker recovers and makes fundraising pledge

A woman whose life was in the balance for 24 hours after a motorcycle accident has recovered and now plans to help the Great North Air Ambulance Service (GNAAS), which came to her aid.

Karen O’Connor, 52, of Shotton Colliery, will offer motorcycle training and donate proceeds for each person that takes the test to the charity, after needing the service while riding a motorbike herself.

The mother survived despite the odds being stacked against her when, in 2011, she was thrown from her bike after colliding with a car on the A688 through the village of Stainton Grove, near Barnard Castle.

Mrs O’Connor was in a coma for three weeks. Medics initially feared she could be paralysed from the neck down. Thankfully, this was found not to be the case, but despite coming around, Mrs O’Connor still faced a long recovery.

She said: “I have no recollection of the accident and my husband knew the first 24 hours could go either way. Now, I want to continue to support the service for as long as I live.”

Bud’s Motorcycle Academy, in Bishop Auckland, the motorcycle training business Mrs O’Connor and her husband Ian O’Conner own, are offering Compulsory Basic Training (CBT), a test that is required for all learner riders. They will ask each individual whether they would like to donate some of the tests costs to the charity that often helps bikers.

Mrs O’Connor said: “We want to encourage people to drive safe, while helping to raise money for the charity that saved my life. The air ambulance is all about time – the difference between living and dying. They are a permanent service and we are longstanding supporters.”

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