Battling to get back on bike

Andy Ibbott
Andy Ibbott

A superbike racer who was told he would never walk again following a life threatening stroke has battled his way back to health.

Andy Ibbott, aged 49, from Great Brington, suffered a massive stroke in March 2011, during a routine operation on his neck.

When his two-hour operation took ten hours, Mr Ibbott’s wife Donna and two children were told he may not survive.

He later woke up in hospital unable to speak and without the use of his right side.

Mr Ibbott, who is a keen biker and the director of the California Superbike School, said: “I really don’t remember much about those days at all but I just tried to deal with it, which is what I’m still doing now.

“I couldn’t feed myself at that time and I had a tube coming out of my stomach which felt very odd.

“I just wanted to get better so I worked with everyone and did everything I could to do that.”

Mr Ibbott began working with physiotherapy and rehabilitation clinic, PhysioFunction in Long Buckby.

He had physio twice a week to work on his movement and two weekly appointments to work on his speech, which he has now regained.

Unfortunately his stroke meant he could not ride for two-and-a-half years due to the lack of movement in his right side but he has since had a bike adapted for his use.

With the throttle on the left hand side, his stronger side, he is able to ride again and he took to the Silverstone circuit again for the first time in May in aid of the Bike Experience charity.

He said: “I now have 50 per cent movement in my leg and 25 per cent in my arm.

“At that time I didn’t have a voice but now I do, though I’m still working on it.

“I can now ride a bike again now and I think that’s because I always believed I would.

“I knew I would get there.”