Published: 09:00, 04 September 2019
| Updated: 14:35, 04 September 2019
A cycling accident has left the High Sheriff of Kent in hospital for almost a week - despite doctors abroad telling him he had suffered just a broken rib.
Paul Barrett, who runs the Barretts car multi-dealership in Canterbury, only discovered the extent of his injuries after returning home from Grenada, where he crashed heavily while mountain biking.
A CT scan at Ashford’s William Harvey Hospital last Friday revealed he in fact had four fractured ribs, fluid on his left lung and a haematoma beneath his left kidney.
"The results were rather a shock, but I was in terrible pain and knew something wasn’t right," said Mr Barrett, who remained in hospital - where he has been given morphine - as the Gazette went to press yesterday.
The accident is Mr Barrett’s second cycling fall in nine months, having come off his road bike hitting a diesel slick in November and cracking his hip.
Explaining the latest accident, Mr Barrett said he had joined a mountain biking tour of the Caribbean island, which he thought was meant to be a gentle, sight-seeing ride.
"The back and front brake levers were reversed from what we are used to back home, which we had been made aware of," he said.
"But, in the moment, as we were going down a fast descent, I grabbed a handful of the wrong one and went flying over the bars.
The businessman, who lives in Wickhambreaux, is a keen road cyclist and has raised tens of thousands of pounds for charity over the years through long distance charity rides.
"I must have ridden more than 50,000 miles in the last 15 years and have only come off twice, but both in the last nine months," he said.
“Obviously my wife, Patsy, isn’t too happy about it, but I hope to be back in the saddle within a couple of months."
He added: "There’s often a risk in many sports, but the injuries aren’t life-changing and you can’t just sit back and do nothing."
Because of his injuries, Mr Barrett, who was made an MBE last year for services to fundraising and the community, has had to cancel some of his upcoming civic engagements.