Friends of injured Nanaimo mountain biker rally around him

Friends of a Nanaimo mountain biker who broke his neck while riding in Kamloops recently are rallying to support the man as he fights to regain mobility in his arms and legs.

Friends of a Nanaimo mountain biker who broke his neck while riding in Kamloops recently are rallying to support the man as he fights to regain mobility in his arms and legs.

A Facebook page called What’s Happening With Pete enables people to follow Peter Isherwood’s progress as he recovers in Vancouver.

Isherwood, 34, was celebrating his birthday riding trails in Kamloops with friends on the Easter long weekend when his steering tube – the part of the fork that attaches to the bike – snapped upon landing a wall feature he’d ridden several times before, said friend Brett Bickerton.

“He’s a really good biker,” he said. “This was just sort of a freak accident. He wasn’t anticipating a crash and so he wasn’t bracing for it. He went over the handlebars and flipped and landed on his neck on his left side.”

Isherwood was initially taken to a hospital in Kamloops and then sent to Vancouver General Hospital, where his C5 and C6 vertebrae in his neck were fused with a piece of his hip bone and a metal plate.

Bickerton said right after the crash, Isherwood could not feel anything, but started to get minor tingling in his legs while waiting for the ambulance. Since then, he has regained some muscle movement in his arms and he can feel down his legs, but there’s no mobility.

“At this point, they don’t know, he may be a quadriplegic,” Bickerton said. “I’m really impressed with how he’s dealing. He’s got the personality that someone needs to overcome this.”

Isherwood’s commonlaw partner, T.J. Bickerton, has moved to Vancouver full-time to support him in his recovery. The couple anticipates Isherwood will be in Vancouver for at least six months.

He was moved to the G.F. Strong Rehabilitation Centre this week.

Bickerton said many of Isherwood’s friends have gone to Vancouver to visit and some are planning fundraising events in the coming months – Isherwood is on short-term disability at the moment and the couple is still looking into their options.

Jake Cody, a former Vancouver Island Raider football player who suffered a similar injury almost six years ago, visited Isherwood in hospital recently to talk to him about his own injury.

He said Isherwood is going to need all the support he can get while recovering – for him, it was eight months in hospital and then a long rehabilitation process – and he hopes the community steps forward.

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