Published: 14:05, 15 July 2020
| Updated: 14:19, 15 July 2020
A popular family-run travelling circus has been left devastated after its co-owner was seriously injured when he was struck by a car.
Roger Santus, part of the Santus Circus which tours Kent, had been cycling along the A2 London Road near Bapchild before he was hit by a blue Volkswagen on June 20.
The 62-year-old was rushed to hospital, where he has remained for almost a month with multiple injuries, including brain damage.
Mr Santus had been forced to cycle as the circus struggles to survive due to a lack of cash amid the pandemic, with its vehicles left uninsured.
Speaking to KentOnline, his wife Annemarie Santus - who is Whitstable-based - said the family are all devastated.
“He is a major part of the circus,” the 57-year-old said.
“We actually don’t know if we would be able to start a show again because he was such a key part.”
The mum-of-two said, as far as they know, Mr Santus was riding his bike and the chain broke.
They think he then fell in front of a car that hit him - but the details are still not clear.
"They had to perform surgery on the road before he was taken to King’s College Hospital - otherwise he wouldn’t have made it," she added.
Mr Santus fell into a coma after the incident and still remains in a serious condition.
To make matters worse, the Santus family are battling to keep the circus afloat after their tour - set to start in Sittingbourne - was cancelled at the start of lockdown.
They have resided there ever since and not been able to move due to staff from around the globe being on the tour.
Josef Santus set up a fundraiser on GoFundMe to save the circus.
He wrote: "We have survived with the little savings we had as we were not included in the government rescue package and therefore do not have enough left in order to open our show
"We have already been shown great acts of kindness from local residents and the council with offers and contributions of food and fuel.
"While we are forever grateful for your help, we seriously need the funds to open again so we can continue to entertain our much-loved public and support ourselves and staff."
They have set a target of £10,000 and have already raised more than £2,000.
The money will be used for insurance, rent, fuel, gas, PPE, tax, changes for social distancing and helping staff.