PMB cyclist dies weeks after crash

2009-10-09 00:00

PIETERMARITZBURG cyclist Alex Young (65) died in hospital this week after more than six weeks in ICU following a cycling accident in which he broke his neck and cracked his spine.

He was admitted to hospital on August 13 after he had crashed his mountain bike.

His grieving wife Julie told The Witness she was at his bedside at the time of his death. “I was with him the whole day and he was conscious and he saw me in the morning, but he faded away and went to sleep in the afternoon.”

She even had a chance to say goodbye. “I said ‘go well’ and he passed away.”

Young was paralysed from the chest down and could only move his arms, which helped him to call Julie on the day of the accident. He was cycling on Les van Dyk Road, a gravel road near Darvill waterworks, when the accident happened. Apparently he hit a barbed-wire fence on the road, somersaulted over the handlebars and landed on his back.

He was taken to hospital, where he underwent a six-hour operation and was placed in an induced coma.

His wife said: “He wanted to go. He would have been a bad cripple. In a way his death was a sort of a blessing. His life was cycling and being unable to cycle again would have been unbearable.”

Young was a member of the Berg Wheel Cycling Club for eight years and participated in the Belgotex Super Classic in 2007.

A memorial service will be held on Monday at St George’s Church.

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