A KEEN sportsman left paralysed after a life-changing motocross accident hopes to raise £20,000 so he can run again.

Nicholas Ringwood, 43, was left with a broken neck, spine and ribs after he came off his bike in May this year.

He was rushed to Basildon Hospital before being transferred to Queen’s Hospital in Romford, London, due to the severity of his injuries.

Nicholas, who has competed in triathlons and tough Ironman challenges across the world, said: “In May, I was at a track called the Milk Run in Grays. I was on my last lap and I flipped over the handlebars.

“Unfortunately, it left me with paraplegia from the waist down.

“I am a bit of a sports nut but now I’m stuck in a wheelchair.

“Whilst I don't know what my future holds and there is no definitive prognosis for my injury, my dream is to be able to run again.

“It is certainly what I am working towards in my rehab and goal planning - it has always been such a huge part of my life and I can't imagine a life without being able to run.

“I used to train eight to nine months before and I think I had one of the fastest marathon sprints in one of the Ironman challenges.

“Running is what I do.”

Nicholas, who is the director of a ceramic tile and stone business in Witham, is recovering at the Royal National Orthopaedic Hospital in Stanmore, London, where he is undergoing specialist treatment.

“I’m doing a lot of physio each day. They keep you really busy here,” he said.

“My injury is known as an incomplete injury. A complete injury would be a full severing of the spinal cord.

“They want to see the changes in my condition over the next two years and they say there’s a possibility of recovery with the right training and mind-set.

“I have seen some improvement in my legs so I’m hopeful so I’ve just got to get on with it. Never give up.”

Now, he is trying to raise £20,000 in order to help his rehabilitation and learn to live independently.

One of the pieces he needs for his recovery is a Functional Electrical Stimulation (FES) bike.

The power-assisted static bike applies small electrical pulses to the paralysed muscles to help improve their use.

However, the bikes can cost £15,000.

Nicholas will also need to buy equipment, including wheelchair attachments, so he can get around more easily.

He added: “I had lots of responses for that and it really touched me how generous people can be.”

For details, visit www.gofundme.com/help-nik-to-get-back-on-his-feet.