A GRANDFATHER who went abroad to support a charity bid collapsed on the side of the road.
Ken Nixon travelled to France to act as support driver for a Deeside pub’s fundraising bike ride.
But the former maintenance fitter, whose daughter Pam Roberts runs the Bridge Inn in Sandycroft, was rushed to hospital in Paris.
Ken drove with his wife Joyce from their home in Cockermouth to help son-in-law Geoff Roberts and his friends raise money for the pub’s charity.
Geoff and pub regulars Mike Davies and Lewis Jones, all from Sandycroft, wanted to cycle from Calais to Paris to raise money for Wrexham Maelor Hospital.
When he heard they needed a support driver, 74-year-old Ken volunteered.
“Dad wanted to do his bit,” said Pam. “He was really looking forward to it. And he’s normally very healthy.”
The team drove to Calais on Monday, August 19 and on Tuesday morning the cyclists headed off for the first leg of their 197 mile trip to Paris.
But five miles from their day one destination, Mike noticed Ken driving erratically.
Ken pulled over, got out of the car and collapsed.
“It’s lucky someone was with him,” said Geoff. “Mike flagged down cars and they got an ambulance there in 15 minutes.”
After various tests at a Paris hospital, doctors diagnosed bone shingles which had created too much calcium in Ken’s system.
“That’s what wiped him out,” said Geoff.
After a day’s delay, the trio completed the second and final leg of their ride on Wednesday, but were forced to return home on Friday without Ken.
Geoff is going back to pick up his father-in-law, hopefully today.
But although family and friends were alarmed, Ken is expected to make a full recovery.
“It was just bad timing,” said Pam, whose mother has spoken to her husband by telephone.
“On Tuesday we were worried because we didn’t know what was wrong with him but now he’s on the mend.”