Family pay tribute after cyclist killed in accident in Spain

Cyclist John Telfer has died six months after a serious crash in Spain.
Cyclist John Telfer has died six months after a serious crash in Spain.

A cyclist who has been fighting for his life following a serious crash which left him paralysed in Spain has died.

John Telfer broke his neck in two places after colliding with a fellow rider near Alicante in May.

The 57-year-old was in critical condition following the collision and was in a nine-day, medically-induced coma at the La Ribera hospital, thousands of miles from home.

A total of £25,000 was raised through the efforts of friends and family through an online fundraising page to bring him home via air ambulance to East Calder, West Lothian, to continue his treatment.

The former Edinburgh College engineering lecturer has lost his six-month battle with infection and respiratory issues and died surrounded by his family.

John’s son, Gregg Telfer, said: “It was my father’s choice to not accept further ventilation due to complications.

Although the last six months have been the most testing that any family should have to go through, we are still 
grateful and proud of his character, determination and attitude from sustaining the initial injuries through attempted recovery periods until his passing.

“My dad has been taken from us in a horrible manner, but he was injured doing something he loved.

“This is the only comfort I can take from the situation, along with knowing he is no longer in pain and suffering, but at peace with other lost family members.”

John, a former prison officer, and his wife Dawn had hoped to enjoy their retirement with frequent visits to a rural part of Spain’s Costa Blanca.

It was during one of their trips that John landed on his neck after colliding with a fellow rider who had been unseated by a raised tree root on a stretch of road.

Gregg has thanked the 
public for their support in bringing his father and friend home and described him as a “rock of a man”.

He said: “I would like to personally thank every single person who supported us, from as far afield as the Americas to across the road in East Calder, as without your support we never would have had the last five months of potential recovery in Scotland.

“His treatment here was 
fantastic and a testament to our public healthcare services.

“I am sure for those who this is news to, it will be sad and shocking news and I would invite you to spare a moment in your thoughts for John Telfer.

“As a father, husband and son he will be sorely missed.”

John leaves behind wife Dawn and his two grown-up children, Gregg and Laura.

The funeral is on Friday at 11am at West Lothian Crematorium.