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Friday, 18 April 2014

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Paraglider crash man back to get married in Cumbria

A paraglider who almost died when he crashed near Keswick is returning to Cumbria to get married.

James Poole photo
James Poole and Victoria Beaney

James Poole was staying with his parents, Duncan and Penny Poole, at Lorton near Cockermouth when his paraglider crashed on Carrock Fell in October 2010.

He suffered serious head injuries, a broken neck, 10 shattered ribs and a snapped collarbone.

Miraculously, he made a full recovery and will return to Lorton in three weeks to take part in a 10-kilometre race to raise money for the village school. He is back again in May to marry his fiancée, Victoria Beaney, who helped nurse him back to health. His father Duncan, who works for the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority, said: “We found out about the accident when we phoned his mobile that evening.

“The call was picked up by an accident and emergency doctor at Newcastle General Hospital.

“It’s a parent’s worst nightmare. We went straight over there and found him in extremely competent hands.

“They kept him under anaesthetic until they had completed the surgery.

“If he had moved, he would have broken his spinal cord.”

Mr Poole added: “He was very fortunate that he was found by two fellow paragliders, one a paramedic and the other a first aider.

“They were all in the air at the same time, saw him go down and got to him within a matter of minutes.”

Keswick Mountain Rescue team turned out and the Great North Air Ambulance airlifted him to hospital in Newcastle where he spent five weeks in intensive care. He lost his memory and cannot remember the stay.

Doctors carried out pioneering surgery to weave a form of titanium-style Meccano to his ribs and he has a metal rod in his neck holding a vertebrae, which is due to be removed later this year.

Despite suffering double vision James, 29, returned to work as an insurance broker in London a year ago.

He completed gruelling triathlons before the accident and was nicknamed “the ironman”. The 10-kilometre race at Lorton on March 24 will be his first competitive race since his recovery.

He proposed to his girlfriend on holiday in Switzerland last June. They will wed at Lorton Church on May 11.

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