THE best of news can be reported by Berwick’s speedway Bandits, whose skipper Rick Ashworth has finally ‘woken up’ - 91 days after his crash at Scunthorpe on August 2.
The 31-year-old racer has been in a coma since his accident, firstly at Hull and latterly in a specialist unit at Salford Royal Hospital.
“We are delighted to report he has now – to an extent – ‘woken up,” announced Berwick’s team manager Ian Rae last night.
“Ricky is officially out of his coma. He is partially awake and able to communicate with those around him. He will now undergo intensive rehabilitation and physiotherapy at Trafford General Hospital in Manchester.”
Ricky’s father Dave, who has maintained a bedside vigil with family members since the rider sustained his injury, has explained how Ricky just seemed to wake up and start talking to him.
“He was mumbling a bit but aware of where he was and to an extent what has happened to him. The lad is by no means back to being who we all know, and has not yet regained full strength down the left side of his body, but although he cannot yet eat or swallow the improvement in his condition is remarkable.
“His memory of events is, understandably after a 91-day sleep, as yet scattered. This is caused by post-traumatic stresses and some amnesia.”
Dave has reported how Ricky sometimes thinks he is only 17, yet at other times he can remember the days leading up to the Scunthorpe meeting and can even recall being in his van with Matty Wethers just before the meeting.
“He even thought he had only been asleep for two days or so,” continued Dave, “We have told him about all the messages of support and fund-raising, and hope it will not be long before Ricky is able to thank everyone himself.”
“So do we!” said Rae.
“November is often a cold, grey month, but this news has brought sunshine back into all our lives.
“This is the greatest possible news. Great to have you back, skipper.”