£50k appeal for father paralysed in Cannock Chase bike crash

Chris Evans was enjoying his usual bike ride on Cannock Chase when disaster struck.

Chris Evans with daughters Rachel and Katie, wife Yvonne, doberman Diesel and Rachel's boyfriend Jack
Chris Evans with daughters Rachel and Katie, wife Yvonne, doberman Diesel and Rachel's boyfriend Jack

A mountain biker has been overcome by the generosity of strangers - after a tragic cycling accident left him paralysed from the chest down.

Keen cyclist Chris Evans, aged 53, was out in Cannock Chase on one of his regular weekend bike rides with friends in July when he navigated a tiny jump.

It was one he had done many times before, but this time tragedy struck.

The father-of-two from Fallings Park, Wolverhampton, hit the ground chin first, severely damaged his spinal cord and was airlifted to Royal Stoke University Hospital.

Chris Evans and wife Yvonne before the accident

Despite the best efforts of medical staff, he is now tetraplegic and unable to move any of his four limbs or torso.

He will also have to remain on a ventilator due to damage to his left lung.

A long, difficult journey followed but Chris, who used to work as an articulated lorry driver for Royal Mail in Birmingham, battled through and is now determined to get home to his wife and daughters and beloved doberman Diesel.

Chris Evans at the top of Helvellyn in the Lake District.

Family, friends and even strangers have been sending in donations thick and fast to make that happen.

Daughter Rachel Evans, 23, said: "He won't be coming home for about six to nine months as we're having to renovate the house for him - everything needs to be digital too, voice dictated.

"And we're looking to get him an off-road wheelchair so he can still go outdoors. It's something for him to look forward to.

The family in festive outfits this Christmas

"Every single Sunday he would go out and cycle 40 to 60 miles - he was a die hard mountain biker. He always used to say 'I work hard to play hard'.

"But now, whenever he has a procedure he has to lie flat for 72 hours."

Wife Yvonne, 54, and daughters Katie, 28, and Rachel are on a mission to raise £50,000 to help their man come home.

They have already amassed more than £16,000 in donations, a gesture which has touched Chris.

Chris with daughters Rachel and Katie in 2010

Speaking from the specialist spinal facility at Sheffield Northern Hospital, where he is now based, Chris said: "I can honestly say I am so humbled by people's generosity and support, I had no idea people who both know me and don’t know would want to help. I’m eternally grateful."

Many fundraising days are also going ahead in a bid to get closer to the £50,000 target.

Chris' colleagues at Royal Mail will be taking part in Coast to Coast cycle ride from April 13 to 15, there will be a Beer Fest Day in Birmingham in May, and Katie and Rachel are taking part in a triathlon in June.

Visit justgiving.com/crowdfunding/chrisevans-volume2 to donate or find out more or email chrisevansvolume2@outlook.com to find out about joining various fundraising events.

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