A FATHER-of-three who broke his neck in a mountain bike accident is one step closer to getting back in the saddle.
Every day, 42-year-old Ian Roscoe works on building his strength and improving his mobility after the accident in April 2012 which left him paralysed.
Confined to a hospital bed unable to move his arms and legs, he feared he would never walk again.
But through sheer grit, determination and strength of character, he is conquering each of his goals — including being back behind the wheel of a car.
Now the former Canon Slade School pupil is hoping to do a sponsored ride in the summer for Bolton Lads and Girls Club, on a specially adapted bike.
Mr Roscoe, who grew up in Harwood and now lives in Bradshaw, said: “I walk with a stick even though I don’t need it 100 per cent of the time.
“I’m walking around a lot more confidently now. Every day I feel there is an improvement.
“I got my car in April which has been great because I can get out and about more.
“It helps with my rehabilitation in that I am not relying on people and I have the chance to get out.”
Mr Roscoe has been having NHS physiotherapy in Bolton and, although he praises the staff, he says resources are limited.
He said: “A lot of my recovery is down to me seeking out new ideas and new ways to improve.
“What the NHS can offer you is limited compared to a private practice.
“One of my goals for this year is to raise some money to go and see someone private.
“I’m 42-years-old and I have at least another 40 years. As far as I’m concerned, I’m going to be recovering every single year and this is why I need continued support.
“I do feel I’ve got so much more I can do.”
A kitchen fitter by trade, Mr Roscoe wants to use his knowledge to set up a business to help others in his position.
He said: “ I’m hoping to start up a business carrying out disability adaptations to try and help other people in my situation.
“It’s kind of gone more towards health rather than just kitchens.
“We are talking about homes and going into care centres as well.”
Mr Roscoe had been enjoying a day out riding with friends in Grizedale Forest, in the Lake District, when the accident happened during the last 200 metres of a three-hour ride.
He was on a flat stretch of land but ended up going over the handle bars of his bike, breaking his neck, and described how he felt his head become detached from his body.
He was taken by air ambulance to Furness General Hospital in Barrow before being transferred to the Royal Preston Hospital and then spent six months in the spinal unit at Southport Hospital.
A long road to recovery followed, with him taking his first steps five months after the crash and he now goes to hydrotherapy sessions and attends one-to-one pilates classes to help with his balance and mobility.