A hell ride for a heavenly cause
If it wasnt for the Life Saver Rescue Helicopter, cycle enthusiast Norval Watson wouldnt be alive today.
In September 2006 Norval had a cycling accident in the Goonengerry forest and damaged his spinal cord, leaving him unable to move. He was airlifted to a Brisbane hospital, where he stayed for three months. He has slowly regained some movement in his arms and legs.
Norval has joined the Hell on Wheels Cycle Tour a 533km journey starting and finishing in Coffs Harbour to educate people about the life-saving role the helicopter plays and why its so important to keep it in the air.
In a fitting twist, the helicopter crewman who winched Norval to safety also has a part-time job as Bottlemart Bart, the mascot for Bottlemart, which is the cycle tours major sponsor.
I hope to be able to ride one day, but that may be a year or two away, so for now Im helping in the only way I can, Norval said. I hate to think what would of happened to me without the helicopter service. I might be pushing up daisies.
The 11th annual Bottlemart Hell on Wheels Cycle Tour is a week-long mountain bike adventure, held in October, where riders battle dirt roads, bush tracks and challenging hills, fundraising along the way. The event has raised $450,000 for the helicopter service in the past 10 years.
There are only 50 spots available on the ride. To enter, donate money or provide sponsorship, visit www.helirescue.com.au/events or phone 6627 4444.