Belfast Telegraph

NW200 biker Stephen Thompson back at scene of horror crash that almost claimed his life

By Chris McCullough

It was a crash that almost took his life - but North West 200 biker Stephen Thompson was still determined to revisit the scene.

During last year's coastal road race the Crumlin rider was involved in a three-bike smash which left him fighting for his life.

But thanks to his positive attitude and a very supportive family, Stephen is getting his life back on track.

The accident resulted in Stephen losing an arm and forced him to have to learn to walk again.

It also injured spectator Violet McAfee. At the weekend the father-of-two made an emotional journey to the very spot at York Corner that almost ended his life.

Stephen posted a photo on Facebook of himself standing at the accident spot, and simply captioned it: "Took a trip back to were my accident happened back in May."

The image stirred a huge amount of supportive feedback from his fans and friends.

One Facebook supporter, Hazel Arbuckle, wrote: "Hi Stephen, glad you are doing so well, you have gone through a lot and come out the other side.

"You are very lucky and have come through a lot. As a motorbike racer, you will get there, stay strong, and remember you have a good family and lots of friends with you, but there are many of us who are facing life without our loved ones. Look forward to watching you at the Grand Prix soon, you can do it."

Richard Linley added: "Hope it helps putting things to bed mate."

And John Dillon wrote: "I'm sure it's hard to be back to where it happened; harder probably as it was no fault of your own Stephen and the incident was out of your control. Hopefully it didn't upset you too much."

Recalling his crash, Stephen spoke of his injuries and about losing his arm.

"I broke the tibia and fibula in my leg," he said.

"I broke my knee, I broke my femur, I smashed both hands, I broke my arm, and later lost it.

"I have a brachial plexus (nerve) injury, I had bleeding on the brain, broken ribs, collapsed lungs and torn ligaments in my right ankle.

"I was moved out of intensive care five days after the accident but then my lungs collapsed and I was in trouble for a few days.

"There was one point when I felt like if there was a switch to stay or go I would have picked go; that's how ill I felt.

"I said that in front of my stepdaughter Fay, although I can hardly remember speaking, and she walked out of the room, really upset."

His left arm was amputated over two months after the crash. "When amputation was first mentioned I wasn't going to let them do it, but then I was told it was either the lower part of the arm or me," he said. "If I wanted to see the girls grow up, I had to let it go."

Belfast Telegraph


From Belfast Telegraph