A DEWSBURY mum has urged cyclists to wear helmets and other protective equipment after her son suffered horrific facial injuries in a road accident.
Rhian Haigh’s 14-year-old son Leon Noakes was riding down Hopton Lane in Mirfield when he hit a curb and catapulted head-first over the handlebars and into a wall.
He wasn’t wearing a helmet at the time.
The Mirfield Free Grammar pupil had to have 48 stitches in his face, suffering a ripped eyelid and lacerations to his left cheek and lips.
Mum-of-five Rhian said the left side of Leon’s face could be paralysed because of nerve damage and she expects him to be scarred for life.
Rhian, 34, said: “It’s more about helmet safety, I know it’s his face and it wouldn’t have stopped that, but he came off over the handle bars and hit the side of his face on a wall on the way down.
“If he’d have had his helmet on it would have hit the side of his helmet first, it might not have saved his top lip and his chin but definitely his forehead and maybe even his eye.”
Leon was out with four friends last Tuesday afternoon when he braked too hard coming off a bend.
A passer-by, who stayed with Leon until help arrived, phoned an ambulance and then called Rhian.
She added: “I was really shocked, it was just awful because when he got the bike for Christmas he wanted to go meet his friends.
“My friends and family convinced me that I was being over-protective and I thought, maybe I am and I’d just started to relax about it and then this happened.
“The days leading up to it he hadn’t been out of the house. I was telling him the day before, are you going out tomorrow, and I wish I hadn’t have done.”
Leon spent a night at Pinderfields Hospital and is now recovering at home in Dewsbury Moor. His mum said she wants Leon’s accident to be a lesson for others.