Massive stroke left Daventry motorcycling champ and biking coach to the Royals unable to walk or talk

Andy's now climbing mountains with hopes of raising £10,000 for charity

By Lucie Green
Thursday, 17th February 2022, 3:28 pm
Updated Wednesday, 9th March 2022, 3:34 pm

A motorcyling champ from Daventry was left unable to walk or talk after suffering a massive stroke.

Andy Ibbott now plans to conquer Mount Everest and raise £10,000 for charity.

He was given a five percent chance of surviving the stroke in 2011, which also left him with aphasia, a condition that makes it difficult for him to understand and produce speech.

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Andy Ibbott.

Although he has almost finished his University of Northampton degree in Sport and Exercise Science – he starts the final year in October – Andy has always found time to raise funds for his favourite charity, Riders for Health.

Riders for Health is a network of motorcycle riding healthcare professionals who deliver supplies to regions of Africa.

Andy will trek to the base camp of Mount Everest – setting off on May 5 – located in the Himalayas on the China-Nepal border. The journey will see him take on 5,364m of the world’s tallest peak above sea level (its total height is 8,848m).

The experience will be completed in 15 days and take him through Sherpa villages and some of the most spectacular views on the planet.

Andy has taken part in many challenges.

Andy said: “I have walked about 5-6 miles a day since I started my training and spent 3-5 hours in the gym, so I am pretty much as prepared as I can be to take on Everest and hope people can spare a few pounds to help me get toward my total for a very worthy group of people.”

Andy was one of the top three journalistic riders in the UK.

He told this newspaper: "I started a racing career, then one day I crashed and broke my back. That put an instant stop to my racing career but it didn’t stop me from coaching riders, including big names in the superbikes world including the MotoGP World Champion Thomas Luthi, Sandro Cortese, Karel Abraham, Leon Camier and not forgetting, Valentino Rossi.

"I was also honoured to be asked to coach Prince William, then Prince Harry and both of them together on bike skills."

In 2011 he discovered a tiny lump in my neck and after many visits to many specialists, it was deemed the lump was nothing to worry about and was small enough to remove in a minor operation.

He added: "I was put under full general anaesthetic as things were not as straightforward as the scans had shown. The professor who was operating on me had an awful choice to make. Leave the lump and it would kill me eventually or remove it and risk me having a massive stroke, possibly killing me but could also save me. She chose to remove it."

The lump had wrapped itself around one of Andy's major veins leading to his brain. No scan would ever have picked this up. The lump and the vein had to be removed.

He had a massive stroke and the odds were stacked against him.

Andy said: "I couldn’t walk, talk, eat, drink, dress myself. I couldn’t do anything at all for myself.

"After six months of intensive treatment and therapy I was allowed home. This was supposed to be good news but actually, I had lost all hope.

"One minute I’m at the top of my game, the next minute I lost my business, I could no longer ride bikes, I couldn’t coach bike riders, I couldn’t continue my writing, I couldn’t do anything at all. I felt suicidal."

Determined not to give up, Andy has learned to do everything again - this time with the use of one arm, partial use of one leg and full use of his other leg.

He said: "Climbing a mountain is one thing, but raising this mountainous amount is another."

For more information or to support Andy, visit his JustGiving page.

To find out about the charity, visit www.riders.org