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Tuesday, 27 November, 2001, 12:26 GMT
Skydiver to paddle for blood donors
Nigel Rogoff
Nigel Rogoff needed 177 pints of blood
A former Royal Air Force skydiver who lost a leg after he crash-landed into Aston Villa football ground will kayak around the UK to promote blood donation.

Television viewers and football fans watched in horror as Nigel Rogoff plunged into the roof of a spectator stand at Villa Park during a premier league football match in December 1998.

Mr Rogoff was taken to Birmingham City Hospital where he received a massive blood transfusion - the equivalent of 120 pints - to treat life-threatening injuries to his legs and pelvis.

Mr Rogoff said: "I realised that I owed my life to every person who had donated blood.

Injured skydiver Nigel Rogoff at Villa Park after the accident
Mr Rogoff broke both legs and fractured his pelvis

"I had never thought about giving blood before my accident but I realised afterwards that we need to increase the donor base."

The National Blood Service campaign aims to recruit 400,000 new blood donors in the UK and will urge two million registered donors to keep on giving.

Mr Rogoff launched the challenge with former RAF serviceman David Abrutat, whose life was saved by a blood transfusion after he broke his back in a car accident in March 2000.

Mr Abrutat, now a paraplegic, will travel on a handbike.

"Hopefully people will see two guys who have survived major trauma who want to get on with their lives and want to promote the National Blood Service in a very proactive way," said Mr Rogoff.

The skydiver was part of a seven-man display team when he crashed into the Trinty Road stand at half-time in December 1998.

He spent months in hospital with two broken legs and a fractured pelvis, and eventually had his left leg amputated.

The two men will take four months to complete their challenges.

They will set off from Tower Bridge in London next April.

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See also:

16 Oct 01 | England
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