Northern Ireland’s Stephen Thompson has lost the lower part of an arm following a serious accident at the North West 200 in May.
The popular Crumlin rider was badly injured in a crash in the Superstock race, which also involved Dean Harrison and Horst Saiger.
A female spectator, Violet McAfee, was also critically injured in the incident, but survived the ordeal.
Thompson’s family revealed the sad news in a statement via Facebook on Thursday, which read: “When Stephen had his accident he suffered a lot of injuries, his arm being one of the worst. He had the brachial plexus injury and a bad break in the forearm but lots of trauma to the arm.
“He has had lots of problems with the arm since that day. We went to the Ulster Hospital last Wednesday for a consultation what we thought for a skin graft and they weren’t happy with it so they admitted him with a view to operate on him immediately.
“He had an operation on his arm on the Thursday as they needed all the surgeons involved. The prognosis wasn’t good and the surgeon didn’t give us good news that night.
“They scheduled him in on Saturday for another operation on the arm but unfortunately that didn’t go well either,” the statement added.
“Stephen’s arm suffered so much trauma in the accident and the forearm was suffering from muscle wastage and other problem with blood supply.
“The surgeons explained to us that it was infected and if they didn’t act soon it could be a worse situation than we were in.
“Stephen had to make a life-changing decision - either to lose the lower part of his arm or we could lose him.
“Stephen made this decision on Sunday after speaking to the surgeons and today the operation was scheduled in.
“Stephen has come through today’s surgery well and today is the start of the road to recovery.”
The statement concludes by thanking everyone for their support and prayers which, it says, ‘means a lot’ to Stephen.
A Go Fund Me page set up to raise money to assist with Stephen’s rehabilitation has currently raised almost £7,000 of its £10,000 target.