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Stories from RideLondon: Nick

27th July 2018

Nick Drewe, a 71-year-old from Berkshire, has been a keen cyclist for many years and enjoys long rides around the countryside where he lives. He first completed Prudential RideLondon 100 in 2015 and had such a great experience that he did it again the following year with one of his sons.

In 2017, at age 70, Nick signed up for his third Ride100 in a row, thinking it would be his last before he hung up his helmet.  He planned to make it a bigger family affair by riding with his two sons and his daughter-in-law.

What Nick didn’t see coming was suffering a massive stroke two months before he made it to the start line.

Nick said: “Fortunately my wife was quick off the mark and called an ambulance which arrived in minutes. The paramedics were brilliant. They quickly assessed the situation and got me to the Royal Berkshire Hospital in Reading.”

Unfortunately the initial treatment to get rid of the blood clot in Nick’s brain wasn’t successful so he was rushed to St George’s Hospital in London where staff were ready and waiting for him – despite it being 1am! A surgical team led by Dr Jeremy Madigan immediately performed a thrombectomy.

As the clot was removed within a few hours of the ambulance being called it did not take long for Nick to feel fairly normal again. He was only in St George’s for two days, which even then was mostly so that staff could run further tests. His surgeons put the speed of his recovery down to two things – how quickly the clot was removed and the fact that Nick was very fit for his age.

Whilst he had recovered well and was advised to gradually return back to normal life, the stroke forced Nick to withdraw from the 2017 Ride100. But having to miss out on last year’s event has only made him more determined to complete his ‘three in a row’ in 2018 (albeit with a year missing in between).

Nick managed to get a place in the 2018 ballot and decided to use the opportunity to raise money for the stroke units at both hospitals where he was treated. So far he has raised over £1,200 for St George’s Hospital, which will be put towards new medical equipment and refurbishments in the Stroke Unit that will make a vital difference for incoming patients.

Nick said: “I am so grateful to all the branches of the NHS for my fantastic care last year The Newbury Ambulance crew and the stroke teams at St George’s and Royal Berks Hospitals were simply incredible. My two sons will be doing the ride with me and the day of this year’s event, 29 July 2018, also happens to be my 40th wedding anniversary!”

Lizzie Wilson, Community and Events Fundraiser, said: “I am so glad that Nick went on to make such a good recovery. It’s hard to believe that this only happened last year. He has been such a passionate and dedicated fundraiser right from the get go. The thousands of pounds he has raised for the two hospitals will have a real impact for patients in Reading and the Greater London area. Well done, Nick!”

If you would like to sponsor Nick you can do so via his JustGiving page here.

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