A well-known Kiwi handcyclist who was in a critical condition after being struck by a car shocked a Radio Sport host today by ringing up by saying thanks for getting him out of a coma.
Ian Walker became a paraplegic after crashing into a truck while out cycling about 10 years ago. He recovered and took up handcycling, later completing the New York Marathon twice, in 2014 and 2017.
However last month he was placed in a coma in Christchurch hospital after being hit by a 4WD while out on a training run on the outskirts of the city. Placed in a critical condition, doctors didn't expect Walker to survive.
Walker rang into Radio Sport Mornings to thank host Jason Pine for playing a part in him getting out of an induced coma by mentioning English Premier League side Liverpool.
"I wanted to say thank you very much because they were trying to get me to wake up in ICU," Walker said.
"They tried talking to me...and then they actually played a bit of Radio Sport on with you about Liverpool's trials and tribulations a couple of weeks ago. And apparently you made mention of the word Liverpool and I didn't sit straight up but I clenched my mouth, pumped my fist and then I started waking up an hour later. So a lot of it goes down to you Mr Pine," he said.
"Wow. That's amazing," Pine, a fellow Liverpool fan, responded. "I don't know quite what to say, I feel extremely privileged to have played any part in your recovery and if there was a little trigger that went off as we talked about our beloved Liverpool, I'm pleased that there was some small part to play. It's really quite moving to hear," Pine added.
Walker said he had vague memories of the incident that occurred on January 9 but said he's recovering well.
"I just went for a bike ride for around 40km, I can't exactly remember what happened. From what I've been told I came to a give way sign and carried on. An SUV decided there was enough room on the road for both he and I to be on the same side. He hit me from behind, flipped me over, over the top of me and broke my legs, broke 95 per cent of my ribs, fractured two hips and I was in an induced coma for four weeks. I've been talking on my own, breathing on my own for first time in six days.
"I think I've lost a little strength of my left hand and my right hand. But that will come in time. The rib fractures and everything will be healed within the next week. I've still got a cast on my left leg which is broken and my right leg is just really in a moonboot to cover the serious lacerations I have on my right foot. I'll be back."
Walker's partner, Louise was stranded overseas at the time of the accident and was unable to get a flight home to be by his bedside until a few days afterwards.
"There was about four doctors who all thought that I wasn't going to make it. When Louise came back from overseas she was told to prepare herself for the worse. Can't keep a good man down."