INTERNATIONAL MEDIA RELEASE – for immediate release
updated 7 Jan 2013
Back on your Bike … Donate for Rich’s Recovery
In the early hours of the morning on Thursday 11 October 2012, Dubai resident and South African born, Richard Holland, 30, set out on his bicycle training for an upcoming Iron Man 70.3 event taking place in Thailand. Despite taking full safety precautions (that included his helmet, front & rear lights, and reflective clothing), Rich was hit from behind by a car and sustained multiple injuries, the worst of which was a severe brain stem injury. Richard remains in a low state of consciousness (semi coma).
Traumatic Brain Injury
Rich was rushed to the ICU Unit at Rashid, a trauma hospital in Dubai, where he underwent life-saving emergency neurosurgical procedures for multiple brain injures (diffuse axonal and brain stem injury). After a few weeks Richard was moved to The City Hospital where he again underwent neurosurgery to repair an aneurism on his carotid artery, which went well. Rich’s condition is now stable but he remains in a state of very low consciousness (semi coma) and requires intensive medical supervision to care for him round the clock. Rich faces an unknown hospitalisation period. 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.
Rich has received excellent medical care in Dubai from both Rashid Hospital and The City Hospital. However, a key step in his recovery involves admitting him into a neuro-rehabilitation facility where he can receive the best possible rehabilitation therapies for a brain stem injury. As soon as he is stable enough, Rich will be medically repatriated to either a facility in his home country, South Africa.
Rich & Back On Your Bike
Rich is an avid triathlete who proudly represented South Africa in the 2007 World Championships in Hungary. He has competed regularly in triathlons and duathlons around the world, from Thailand to Canada, Singapore to Johannesburg. He is a passionate individual who exudes energy into all that he does. From a large and loving family, Rich has relatives in South Africa, Australia and Canada. Rich is hugely popular, a passionate cook and a brilliant fisherman who loved living in Dubai! He encouraged others to do outdoor sports in the UAE, from cycling and 4x4ing in the desert and everything in between. Rich deserves the extensive medical attention required to allow for his young body and mind to make a full recovery.
The family have set up a trust fund: “Back On Your Bike”, with the view to raising much needed funds through donations, fundraisers and events to give Rich the chance he deserves to make a full and complete recovery … maybe even one day get him back on his bike.
BackOnYourBike fundraising Target
Richard fortunately had health insurance with AXA who have been incredibly helpful and supportive during this time. This cover will end imminently as Richards medical expenses have been very high due to the nature of his injuries. AXA has kindly offered to pay for his repatriation expenses to South Africa. However, he will not have medical cover in South Africa as he has been a resident of Dubai for the last 4.5 years.
Reachable fundraising goals have been set for the various stages of Rich’s recovery. The first fundraising target of $150,000 will cover the most pressing medical expenses and those of the next few months, including repatriating Richard to South Africa to continue his treatment. These targets will be increased as the family learn more about the Rich’s recovery process.
BackonYourBike aim to raise a minimum of US$ 1,700,000. Given the uncertainty of Rich’s recovery period, this target is based on calculations from his first month of treatment and the projected amount of rehabilitation treatment he requires. This amount was validated by information available from the DANA Foundation, which calculates the lifetime expense of a coma patient to be between US$600,000 and US$1,875,000.
Visit Our Website and Get Involved
Please visit our website www.backonyourbike.com to find out how you can get involved. From individual and corporate donations to fundraising, events and awareness activities, every little bit will help. The website also provides more information on Rich, his accident and recovery. There is also a Facebook Page and Twitter feed for more information.
The road to recovery will be the toughest challenge Rich has ever faced. But 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 all our love, care and support, we can get Rich ‘back on his bike’, to continue on his life’s journey!
Judy and Colin Rothschild, and family
In order to ensure complete transparency and appropriate governance, Back On Your Bike will be managed as a registered Trust Fund in Richard’s home country of South Africa.
For more information / media enquiries/ or to set up interviews with the family please contact:
Pippa Holland (Richard’s sister)
+614 12 095965