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Soham family to press for new law on cycle helmets after 15-year-old Haydn nearly died in a collision near Fordham

The family of a teenage cyclist who nearly died after a collision with a car has started a campaign to make cycle helmets compulsory for riders aged 16 and under.

Haydn Garrod was cycling from Burwell to his home in Centre Road, Soham, in September 2018 after visiting a friend when he was involved in an accident on the roundabout on the Fordham bypass. The 15-year-old was not wearing a cycle helmet and suffered major brain injuries after hitting the car’s windscreen.

The East Anglian Air Ambulance was immediately called to treat Haydn at the roadside where a doctor and a critical care paramedic administered an emergency anaesthetic to take over his breathing and protect his brain until they could get him to Addenbrooke’s Hospital, where he underwent life-saving neuro-surgery.

Haydn Garrod. 15, of Soham
Haydn Garrod. 15, of Soham

Doctors said that if Haydn survived the operation it was likely he would have life-changing injuries and would be paralysed on his right side. He was placed in an induced coma for two weeks while his body healed with no-one able to tell his mother Amanda and father David what the outcome might be.

Luckily, Haydn pulled through and came out of the coma quickly. Within a few days he was trying to get out of bed and walk.

EAAA Anglia Two crew show their support for the campaign (27997180)
EAAA Anglia Two crew show their support for the campaign (27997180)

“Physically he has recovered very well and he has had amazing help from the Children’s Trust,” said Amanda. “But he still needs a lot of help with his reading and writing, speaking and sight.

“We’ve been incredibly lucky. Haydn has survived a substantial head injury but everyone from the neuro-surgeons to the air ambulance doctor and paramedic agreed that if he had been wearing his helmet he would probably have suffered no more than a nasty concussion.

“We’re so grateful that Haydn has a bright future and we want to stop other families going through what we’ve been through so as soon as the parliamentary petition commission is activated again following the General Election we are going to set up an official petition for Haydn’s Law, to make it a legal requirement for under-16s to wear a cycle helmet on the road.

“I always struggled to get Haydn to wear his helmet and some of his friends still won’t wear one, but I believe it is as essential as wearing a seat belt in a car. It can save your child’s life.”

Haydn, who is now 17 and taking an Archway Course at Cambridge Regional College to help with his reading, writing and maths, said: “Everyone should wear a cycle helmet because it could save your life and stop you needing to be in hospital for a long time.”

To support the call for Haydn’s Law go to the Facebook page or Twitter @HaydnsL