Wednesday, 26 September 2012

Is this the way to treat an Olympic hero?

Simon, the Olympic double gold medalist
Simon Richardson is a cyclist, but no ordinary cyclist. Instead, he is a cyclist that has shown a remarkable tenacity to overcome enormous problems.

In 2001, Simon was struck by a car that was being driven at 60mph. The impact of that crash broke his back in two places and completely shattered his left leg.
After a four year recovery, with a ratchet support system fitted to his spine and a left leg which no longer functioned, Simon used his love for cycling to rebuild his body.

In 2008 he became part of the now legendary success of the Great Britain cycling team. Simon took two Gold medals and a Silver medal at the Beijing Paralympics, breaking the World Paralympic in the Kilo in the process; he was later awarded an MBE by the Queen in the 2009 New Years honours list.

In August 2011, Simon suffered an almost copycat collision when a drunk driver collided with him at 11am in the morning on the A48 between Cowbridge and Bridgend, not far from his home in Porthcawl.
Airlifted to hospital in a critical condition, he was diagnosed with a detached lung, a broken pelvis and a broken back in two places. Doctors said he would never ride again.

This crash meant Simon couldn't compete at the 2012 Paralympics. He is making a recovery, and is determined to compete at the 2016 games in Rio, but there is a catch: Simon needs an operation to try and repair some of the damage caused by the last driver to crash into him.

The driver was insured by NFU Mutual, yet they now refuse to pay the £36 000 the operation would cost.

UPDATE: NFU Mutual, to their credit, has changed their mind and paid for Simon's operation. Simon, get well soon and remember, we all believe in you and believe you will do well at the Rio Olympics!

It might be possible for Simon to receive the operation on the NHS, but with over a two year waiting list, that would mean he wouldn't be able to compete in Rio. So important is it to Simon that he is even considering selling his home to pay for the operation.

Regardless of the small print they may or may not have in their insurance contract, it is completely and utterly morally wrong for NFU Mutual to refuse to pay out.

Please join the campaign to put pressure on NFU Mutual to reverse their decision and do the right thing by paying for Simon's operation. They accepted that driver as a customer, and they accepted the risks that came with it. They also happily accepted his payments to them.

Now it is time for NFU Mutual to pay up!

Please write to them, call them, e-mail them or even tweet them and tell them to do the right thing and pay for Simon's operation.

Please also tweet links to this, adding the hashtag #DoRightBySimon.

And should they refuse to do so, please stop giving business to them, and tell everyone you know to stop supporting them. One way or the other, this will cost them. Let's make sure paying for Simon's operation will cost the least!