St Albans father’s gruelling cycle ride after daughter in car crash

Peter Freeman, on the left.

Peter Freeman, on the left. - Credit: Archant

A thankful St Albans father is undertaking a gruelling cycle challenge to give back to the charity which helped his daughter after she was in a car accident.

It was stormy in May 2010 when 17-year-old Nicki Freeman, on her way to prom, crashed into a tree.

She fractured both legs and her pelvis, and suffered traumatic brain injuries which meant she could not use the left side of her body.

After two years of rehabilitation and hospital stays, Nicki joined National Star - a charity which supports young people with complex disabilities and brain injuries.

They helped her to regain independence and control over her life. She now has her own flat and is completing a BTEC, and will soon be looking for a job.

In thanks, Nicki’s dad Peter Freeman is cycling over 500km and up 6,000m over three days, from June 9 to 11, called a Dragon Tour.

The Welsh route takes them over numerous different mountains.

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He said: “Getting the phone call that every parent dreads was awful, our only thought was to get to Nicki in the hospital before it was too late.

“Then two days later we found ourselves being overtaken by an ambulance on the M1 knowing that was our daughter being rushed to London under the blue lights and sirens.

“We had no idea if Nicki would ever wake up, or whether she would have any quality of life after the accident.”

The Dragon Tour will not be as hard as those days with Nicki in hospital, he said.

“She has so much to offer. She has come so far in seven years, now we look forward to a future we feared she wouldn’t have at all.

“As a family we are incredibly proud of what our daughter can do thanks to National Star.”

He praised the charity: “National Star has been opening its doors to young people with disabilities for 50 years.

“The charity’s focus on the individual’s needs and what they can do, not what they can’t, helped us maximise the outcomes for Nicki.”

To donate, visit www.justgiving.com/fundraising/teamnickidragon

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