Man’s charity campaign after wife’s road accident

Nikki Thornley pictured on the morning before the accident in the Borders which left her paralysed.
Nikki Thornley pictured on the morning before the accident in the Borders which left her paralysed.

The husband of an Ellon woman left paralysed by a motorcycle accident is launching a fundraising campaign for her and the charity which has given them “fantastic” support.

Phil and Nikki Thornley’s lives changed forever in September when she suffered horrific spinal injuries as they set off on a two-week road trip to Europe to celebrate his 40th birthday and starting a new job.

The couple were travelling through the Borders when the accident happened in heavy rain near Jedburgh.

Phil told the Times: “I was in front of her and had gone round a corner when I realised she wasn’t behind me.

“I went back to see what had happened and came across the accident.”

Nikki had lost control of her machine in the wet conditions and slippery surface and was struck by an oncoming vehicle.

Phil said: “It was unavoidable. She broke her back, shattering one of her vertebrae which damaged her spinal cord beyond repair, resulting in her being paralysed from the chest down.”

The mother-of-two young children was taken to a local hospital before being transferred to the spinal injuries unit of Glasgow’s Southern General Hospital, where she is expected to remain for another five months.

Now Phil, a former police officer, is organising a charity pub quiz in Ellon’s Buchan Hotel next Friday (November 15) night in aid of his wife and Spinal Research UK.

He said: “I am running next year’s London Marathon as a tribute to Nikki and the fantastic support received from Spinal Research UK following the accident, hence why I am organising this event.

“Along with Jenifer Cordiner and her sister, Nicola Drummond, who are also running the marathon with me and also organising several other charity events this year, we aim to raise over £4000 between us.”

Phil, who now works as a project engineer with an oil company, said Nikki was coming to terms with what had happened and he is now juggling work and looking after their children with visiting her in hospital each weekend.

A Facebook page created following the accident has more than 250 members and Phil has received many messages of support.