UPDATE: Ryan Farquhar has been moved back into the Intensive Care Unit at the Royal Victoria Hospital in Belfast. His condition has been described as 'seriously ill' by the Belfast Trust. No further details are available.
Ulster road racer Ryan Farquhar says the doctors who treated him at the roadside after a serious accident at the North West 200 saved his life.
Farquhar came off while leading the first Supertwins race last Thursday and sustained chest and pelvic injuries. He was airlifted by PSNI helicopter to the Royal Victoria Hospital and was described as being seriously ill.
However, the 40-year-old from Dungannon in Co Tyrone is now in a stable condition.
Speaking from his hospital bed in Belfast, Farquhar said: “I can't thank the doctors enough who saved my life. Money couldn't pay them for what they have done for me. I want to thank [Dr] Fred [MacSorley] and his team.”
Reflecting on the moment he came off his Kawasaki machine, Farquhar said he remembered everything about the accident.
“I remember crashing and the marshals telling me not to move until Dr Fred got there. It is unreal how quickly he was able to work out what was wrong with me and when I got to hospital they told me that whoever prepared me for the journey had saved my life,” he said.
“As time went on I knew that I was in bad shape. I was taken straight into surgery when I arrived at the Royal and I was lucky that the top liver surgeon in the country was available to operate on me,” added the Northern Ireland rider, who suffered a lacerated liver and six broken ribs.
“I lost the front end and I went down hard. I hit the Recticel bale and bounced back out into the road but everything happened so fast that I don't really remember being hit by the other bike.”
Dan Cooper was caught up in the incident but escaped with minor injuries and has been released from hospital.
“I am looking forward now to getting myself sorted and getting home with my wife Karen, my girls Keeley and Mya and our two donkeys.”
Farquhar expressed his condolences to the family and friends of young prospect Malachi Mitchell-Thomas from Chorley, who was killed after coming off at the same place two days later in the second Supertwins race.