BSB: Byrne: 'I can't tell you how how it feels to be home'

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Bennetts British Superbike champion Shane Byrne has returned to his home in Kent after almost three weeks in hospital.

The six-time champion was seriously injured after an incident at an official BSB test at Snetterton last month, sustaining significant injuries to his neck, back, and chest.

However, after surgery to stabilise his broken vertebrae and the fitting of a ‘halo’ contraption that restricts any movement of the head or neck in order to allow his broken neck to heal naturally over the next three months, he was able to be flown home from Norwich to Sheppey this afternoon.

“I can’t tell you how it feels to be home,” said Byrne speaking to MCN. “It’s been the best part of three weeks, in some ways it has seemed really short and in others it has been a life time. When you’re taken to hospital and the first thing they are telling your wife is they are working to save your life and get you stable, then the second thing they have to work out is how your mobility is going to be you realise just how serious it is! So, to be walking out of a helicopter to meet my wife at home just this short time later is remarkable.

“My recovery is going well so far and I hope it continues at that pace. It’ll be tricky, I could have had my neck fused during surgery as it was quite badly broken, but that would have been my career over just like that. The other option was to fit this halo for three months and let the neck heal naturally. There was a lot of damage, and this gives me a good chance of retaining some movements but there is still a chance it might fuse naturally.

“We’ll see how the next three months go, it won’t be easy at all, but when that time period is up we can see how my neck moves and after that we can make a plan to see whether I can get back on a bike. There is a long road ahead, but we’ve made some important steps over the last few days.” 

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Oli Rushby

By Oli Rushby

Former sports reporter covering British Superbikes, World Superbikes and road racing