A MAN who nearly lost his life in an horrific car crash has completed an 18-mile charity cycle—and was one of the first to cross the line.

Doctors feared the worst when Leon Selva’s car crashed into a steel barrier and traffic lights in Chorley New Road, Horwich, in January, 2004.

The then 19-year-old was in a coma for weeks and had to learn to walk and talk again after losing movement on the right side of his body.

He also suffered a lack of oxygen to the brain and partially bit off his tongue in the accident.

But after building up strength at Horwich Leisure Centre in Victoria Road with personal assistant Mike Atherton, the pair completed the MedEquip4Kids Lancashire Loop Cycle Challenge in Cockerham, Lancashire, on a tandem bike on Sunday.

They crossed the line after one hour and 23 minutes, coming fifth place out of 35 entrants.

Leon, aged 26, from Blackrod, said: “I am aching all over from the ride. We have raised £350 so far. I raised money because it will help other kids.

“I will do it again next year, but I am going to try to win.

“We were three minutes behind the leader. Knowing I was raising money kept me going.”

Leon is pursing his dream of becoming a personal trainer by studying for a BTEC National Diploma in sports science.

His mother, Carol Selva, aged 61, said: “Leon and Mike have done absolutely brilliantly.

“They gave everybody a shock —alot of people will have been a bit sceptical because they saw how disabled he was.

“When he came out of the coma in 2004 he was dazed and a bit like a puppet.

“He was always a very talented sportsman, but he has lost a lot of his abilities, yet found others in another way.”

Leon has learned to ski again and and he is also learning to drive again.

Mike, aged 45, from Horwich, said: “We only started biking to help Leon walk better and it has been amazing. Over the past three months we have gone from five minutes up to 20 miles at the gym.”

To help Leon raise more for MedEquip4Kids, which provides medical equipment to improve hospital facilities, contact Mrs Selva on 01204 695791 or carollynnselva@yahoo.co.uk.