By David Gold

Simon Richardson_posingDecember 29 - Britain's Beijing 2008 Paralympic gold medallist Simon Richardson is contuining his battle to recover from a horrific road accident that could leave him in a wheelchair for the rest of his life.

Having cycled to gold in the LC 3 class in world record time in 2008, he picked up another gold and a silver medal in the same Games.

But in August the 45-year-old suffered a double break to his pelvis, a broken breastbone and has only one working lung after crashing while cycling.

"I could have arthritis in the spine basically as a result of the accident, which has increased the chance of having arthritis in the five breaks in my back," he told the Press Association.

"But that is in five or 10 years down the road.

"The way that I look at it is that I am not bothered.

"I should have been dead in the first 15 days after the accident.

"If I am in a wheelchair, I am in a wheelchair – you cannot live on that [thought] now.

"I am just disabled – I am not a three-year-old child who has got leukaemia or something that changes or cuts their lives."

Simon Richardson_in_hospital_bed_after_accident
Richardson no longer trains with the British squad but was training when he was hit and spoke of the trauma of being in intensive care.

"Being in intensive care is very, very traumatic.

"It is a bit like groundhog day.

"For me it was like having a light with the word 'die' on it.

"I kept having the same dream and by the end of it I was trying to switch the word 'die' on...because of all the drugs that I was on.

"It was hard to tell what was real and not real.

"I was lying there feeling half awake.

"Amanda [Richardson's wife] said she shouted at me when it was coming close to my 15 days of being unconscious because I was not improving and needed to try harder.

"I think that was when I was trying to turn the light on and within 48 hours I was off the ventilator."

Richardson has yet to gain the required strength to walk properly, and is still wearing a body brace and needs his wife to take him when he wants to go anywhere.

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August 2011: Richardson still in "good spirits" after hit-and-run ruins London 2012 chances
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