A WEST Cork man has raised more than €30,000 for the Irish Community Air Ambulance, just 10 weeks after being involved in a serious cycling accident.
Darren Lynch, who is from Caheragh, was inspired to organise the Friends of the Air Ambulance Charity Cycle after crashing his bike near Schull in July.
The 31-year-old suffered injuries to his head and face and was airlifted to Cork University Hospital by the charity-funded Helicopter Emergency Medical Service Air Ambulance on the day.
While he was recovering at home, he decided to organise a 60km fundraising cycle for the service in Skibbereen, which 140 people took part in on October 2.
Altogether, the event raised over €31,450 for future air ambulance missions.
Mr Lynch recently presented the cheque to the Irish Community Air Ambulance base in Rathcoole and thanked the rescuers.
“It was really important for me to turn what could have easily been a negative situation into a positive one,” he said.
“I believe my recovery is down to all the emergency services who treated me that day and this fundraiser is a way of saying thanks to them. I was one of five incidents that the helicopter responded to that day in July which really puts into perspective how important this service is.
“The cycle was a great success and I would like to thank the participants, over 60 volunteers, supporters, kind sponsors, friends, and family that helped to make the day possible.”
The money raised will fund nine future air ambulance missions, which cost the Cork-based service around €3,500 each to complete.
Speaking after the presentation of the cheque, CEO of the Irish Community Air Ambulance Mícheál Sheridan thanked all of those who took part in the cycle.
“I want to say a big thank you to Darren Lynch, his supporters, the cyclists, and the entire community in West Cork for arranging such a fantastic event,” he said.
“Darren and his friends took on the challenge of organising a major fundraising cycle just weeks after he was injured in a similar event. We’re often called to cycling incidents in remote locations like West Cork and it is great to meet former patients and see them doing so well.
“We’re not government funded so we rely on donations and fundraisers like this to bring hope to people in emergency situations.”