Triathlete, 37, paralysed from neck down after falling off his bike

Triathlete, 37, is paralysed from neck down after falling off his bike while competing in race in Scotland

  • Nathan Ford, 37, fell while competing in the British Middle Distance Triathlon 
  • Triathlete currently cannot move or breathe without assistance in hospital
  • Friend Richard Jellyman says his ‘whole life revolves around physical activity’ 

A Welsh triathlete has been left paralysed from the neck down after falling off his bike during a race in Scotland.

Nathan Ford, 37, from Swansea, fell while competing in the British Middle Distance Triathlon Championship in Aberfeldy on August 22.

Mr Ford — whose ‘whole life revolves around physical activity’ — was rushed to intensive care and currently cannot move or breathe without assistance.

His friend Richard Jellyman said he is absolutely devastated to have lost the ability to move his limbs, let alone compete again.

Nathan Ford, 37, from Swansea, Wales, has been left paralysed from the neck down after falling off his bike during the British Championship Triathlon in Aberfeldy in Scotland

Mr Ford had come close to representing Wales as a swimmer in the Commonwealth Games before switching to the triathlon

Mr Jellyman told WalesOnline: ‘It’s come as a massive shock to all of us. The severity of his injuries is unheard of in the sport.

‘Thankfully he is conscious and aware of what’s going on. He’s still got his personality, can understand questions and respond through moving his eyes and nodding and shaking his head a tiny amount.

‘His whole life revolves around physical activity, so to see that taken away from him is just devastating.’

Mr Ford had come close to representing Wales as a swimmer in the Commonwealth Games before switching to the triathlon.

Mr Ford — whose ‘whole life revolves around physical activity’ — was rushed to intensive care and currently cannot move or breathe without assistance

He has since had successes in Iron Man events and runs a triathlon coaching business with his wife Catrin, 33. 

She is currently at his bedside in Scotland and has set up a fundraiser page to contribute towards her husband’s rehabilitation.

The couple lost their Cockapoo Reggie in July when he was mauled to death by another dog on a walk.

Mr Ford will undergo several operations over the next month, with doctors hoping he is able to regain some hand and arm function.

Mr Ford lost his Cockapoo Reggie (pictured) in July when he was mauled to death by another dog on a walk

Mrs Ford said: ‘Nathan is currently in intensive care in Scotland and has a long road ahead of him. 

‘Nathan was diagnosed with two life threatening conditions, a brain injury and a spinal injury.

‘It appears that his brain injury isn’t as severe as initially thought but his spinal injury is worse than we could have ever imagined. 

‘Currently Nathan is not able to breathe independently and is unable to move.’

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