Back On Your Bike Trust

On Thursday 11 October 2012, the lives of Richard Holland and his family changed forever. Whilst training for an Ironman Race, Rich was hit from behind by a car and sustained multiple life-threatening injuries, including a severe injury to his brain stem, resulting in an immediate coma. Rich was treated in Dubai, UAE for several months and eventually repatriated to South Africa. For a full review of the accident, what happened and his recovery, please CLICK HERE 

***Rich is now stable, living with his parents in Cape Town and receiving extensive neurological rehabilitation for his brain stem injury. Rich remains unable to move (except for that of his right thumb) or talk and requires intensive medical supervision to care for him round the clock. After a severe brain injury, particularly to the brain stem which controls motor function, it is only possible to guess at the recovery time and the likely outcome. All that is certain is that recovery is a slow process and will take months and years, rather than weeks.

Back On Your Bike (An independent trust fund) has been established to assist Rich Holland and his family by raising money to cover his :

  • Immediate and future medical care (including neuro surgery, ICU and hospital stays in Dubai & South Africa);
  • Intensive neurological and physical rehabilitation in South Africa to provide him with the very best chance of recovery;
  • Long-term hospital fees and out-patient care
  • Home care: Modified house, custom wheelchair, customised vehicle for transport, hospital bed, hoist and other medical equipment.
  • 3 x daily liquid feeds for the future through PEG tube at R150 per day.
  • Unforeseen medical and related expenses.

How is Rich?

Rich received excellent medical care from both Rashid Hospital and The City Hospital in Dubai, UAE. Click here for a full run down of his accident and treatment.

Rich is South Africa born and thus has been repatriated (on 23 Jan 2013), courtesy of AXA insurance, to Cape Town. South Africa. He is currently on a solid and comprehensive  out-patient rehabilitation programme and we are hopeful for the future. He is living at home with his parents in Cape Town who look after him round the clock. Rich has a few wonderful carers who turn him every 3 hours to prevent bed sores, care for him, deliver his liquid feed (Peg Tube into his stomach) and provide constant support to his physio’s and other specialists who are working hard to give Rich the best chance of recovery of his mobility and speech in time.

BackOnYourBike Fund

Reachable fundraising goals have been set for the various stages of Rich’s recovery.

*Rich was living in UAE and therefore does not have full medical cover in South Africa yet. This means that his care and ALL costs currently are being covered by the family, and through your generous donations. The costs are astronomically high and we are already so immensely grateful for all the donations received thus far.

Given the uncertainty of the recovery period, the total fundraising target is far higher.  This amount has been estimated based on the first 6 weeks’ treatment, the multiple surgeries he has already undergone as well as future scheduled procedures, physiotherapy (neuro and physical) and the projected amount of rehabilitation treatment required in the long term. This amount was validated using information from the DANA Foundation which calculates the lifetime expense of a coma patient between US$600,000 and US $1,875,000. In Rands, that is upward or R15,000,000.

The road to recovery will the toughest challenge Rich has ever faced. We all know him as a young man in the prime of his life; a fighter of fierce courage and steely determination. We believe that with love, care and support, Rich will get back on his bike and continue to live his life doing the things he loves so much.


Back On Your Bike Trust is officially registered in South Africa; under South African law and signed on 14/12/2012.

To assist Rich with his medical rehab and other related expenses, an independent trust has been set up, controlled by RMB Private Bank, a division of First Rand Bank Ltd in South Africa. RMB Private Bank will act as trustees and administer any donations or contributions made by members of the public to support Richard.

The full beneficiary of the Trust is Richard John Sothern Holland (ID 8211305191087).

Frequently Asked Questions


In the interests of transparency, here for your perusal is the mandate as agreed by all the trustees for Back on Your Bike Trust.

The primary objective of the trust is to raise funds for the benefit of Richard John Sothern Holland, specifically in the area of his medical requirements, and his general maintenance and well-being.

Without limiting the generality of this objective, the trustees are authorised to disburse funds as follows:

1. To pay Richard’s direct medical costs, including all medicines, costs of medical professionals and other service providers who assist him,and all medical equipment and related items required by him, as a result of his medical condition.

2. To pay all tangible expenses that were directly incurred in sourcing income for the trust.

3. To pay all statutory and professional costs of the trust that may arise from time to time.

4. To reimburse members of his immediate family, and any other person who renders support to Richard, for proven, tangible expenses incurred in the course of rendering support to him.

5. To employ on a full-time or part-time basis any nurse, care-giver or similar support personnel who in the opinion of the trustees need to be employed specifically to render services to Richard, as his circumstances may dictate from time to time.

6. To make any other payments which the trustees, by unanimous consent, are satisfied fall within the ambit of the above objectives, and would be acceptable to the body of donors, who have donated funds towards this cause, mindful of the objectives of the trust.

7. At their discretion, having regard for the financial situation of the trust and Richard’s needs, the trustees may from time to time consider donating funds to related medical research, charities in a related field, other patients with serious life-threatening ailments, and institutions that meet these objectives.

8. It is however specifically recorded that no trustee will be paid for his or her time in executing thier duties as trustee. Such time is given voluntarily, free of charge.