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Santus Circus to restart tours as co-owner Roger Santus remains seriously injured in hospital after being hit by car

A popular family-run travelling circus is "fighting back" as its co-owner finally awoke from a coma a month after being struck by a car.

Bosses at the Santus Circus, which tours Kent, have announced it will be returning this summer to the delight of families.

Roger Santus was injured in a serious crash on the A2. Picture: Josef Santus
Roger Santus was injured in a serious crash on the A2. Picture: Josef Santus

It comes after its co-founder, Roger Santus, was seriously injured when he was struck by a car.

He had been cycling along the A2 London Road near Bapchild moments before he was hit by a blue Volkswagen on June 20.

It is understood he was riding his bike when the chain broke, and his family think he fell in front of the car that hit him.

The 62-year-old was rushed to King's College Hospital, where he has remained for more than a month with multiple injuries, including brain damage.

Mr Santus fell into a coma and his condition was described as "serious".

Santus Circus co-owner Roger Santus, centre, in the ring. Picture: Ruby Santus
Santus Circus co-owner Roger Santus, centre, in the ring. Picture: Ruby Santus

But three days ago he finally woke up and has since been transferred to Medway Maritime Hospital.

Speaking to KentOnline, his devastated wife Annemarie Santus - who is Whitstable-based - says he is not able to talk yet and can only move his head slightly.

"They can’t tell us a diagnosis yet but [doctors] have said it’s life-changing," the 57-year-old said. "But there’s not a prognosis yet that he can’t walk or anything like that."

She said the bones he broke are on the mend and he is having physiotherapy.

The mum-of-two added: "He is responding to people; he knows our voices."

Santus Circus will return next month
Santus Circus will return next month

The Santus family were battling to keep the circus afloat after their tour - set to start in Sittingbourne - was cancelled at the start of lockdown.

They have resided in the town in caravans ever since and not been able to move due to staff from around the globe being on the tour.

The team were dependent on the "huge generosity" of locals who helped by donating meals, food, and even diesel for their essential electric generator.

Mrs Santus added: "I would like to thank all the people who brought us food down, they have been very, very kind."

But now they have announced performances will restart on August 5 at Barton's Point, Sheerness, followed by a visit to Swalecliffe, near Whitstable.

Ringmaster Ernest Santus has taken on brother Roger's publicity duties - visiting shops around the circus's first planned site and asking shopkeepers to display circus posters.

"It's not an easy time," he said. "We closed down and our staff were sent home back in March."

He said they cannot get some of the staff back for the moment, so there is a "scratch team" of three family members out with him doing the publicity.

To book call 07843 884787 or 07952 418487, or click here for show dates and times.

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