The family and friends of a Scottish mountain biker who was seriously injured during an Enduro World Series event in Switzerland last month have launched a crowdfunder to raise £40,000 to cover his medical expenses.
Darren Scott, aged 50 and from Galashiels in the Scottish Borders, sustained injuries to his back and pancreas when he crashed while riding the event at Crans-Montana on 11 September. He was airlifted to hospital and remains there, but a problem with his insurance cover means he faces a medical bill of up to £40,000, including repatriation costs.
Recalling the crash, the former Scottish masters champion told Radio Borders: "I kind of overshot the corner and went down a drop, landed on my front wheel ... bar snapped around, and I got the full force of the handlebar right into my midriff.
"I've damaged my pancreas, and I have a lot of internal bleeding caused by a lot of hematomas, which is why they're keeping me in the hospital to monitor them. I've also shown two broken ribs and two compressed vertebrae in my back as well."
He continued: "It would mean a lot for me to see some familiar faces again; just get back to Scotland and get on the road to recovery.
"It's not that easy over here because the language barrier in the hospital is a bit of a problem. I just feel it would be so much easier being in a Scottish hospital.
"When you think you're covered and then it turns out they're not going to pay for a lot of the stuff, it's quite worrying; and it just goes through my mind, how am I going to get home?"
It was only the second Enduro World Series event Scott, who used to compete in motocross, has competed in.
The crowdfunding appeal has so far raised just over half the £40,000 being sought and is hosted by the 22 Foundation, set up to support former motocross racer Sean Doherty when he was left paralysed after a crash while racing in Scotland in 2015.
On its website, the foundation says:
22 Foundation was set up not only for Sean however to help other friends or like-minded sportsmen.
We now find ourselves in the unfortunate situation of having to raise money for Darren Scott, who has been critically injured and needs repatriating from Switzerland back into a Scottish Hospital. As we know at this point, the extent of his injuries is a broken back, damaged pancreas, and internal bleeding. Darren was sitting in the top 3 and was looking strong for a medal finish at the end of the world series.
At over 50 years old, he managed to beat the 35-year old plus competitors on his 2nd attempt of this World Enduro Series.
We are looking to raise in the region of £40,000 to cover medical expenses and Air Ambulance. Due to an oversight, it turns out Darren's insurance did not cover Switzerland, where he was racing and was injured.
Sean and Darren starting racing together on the same day in motocross at Pathcondie in 1988 and have remained friends and competitors ever since. This cry for help is going out to Friends, Family, MXers, Scramblers, Mountain Bikers and everyone who would love to help.
We do appreciate any donations and understand times are very tough at the moment.
You can make a donation here.