Billionaire founder of Phones4u left fighting for life after horror bike crash

The billionaire founder of Phones4u was left fighting for his life after being involved in a freak bicycle crash while holidaying in Italy.

68-year-old John Caudwell broke 11 bones in the crash, and needed several operations afterwards.

The billionaire businessman was airlifted to a Florence hospital after the front tyre on his bicycle exploded as he rode down a mountain at 25mph, the Mirror reports.

He received treatment at the hospital for a punctured lung, shattered shoulder blade, six broken ribs, and a broken collarbone.

Fortunately, he was wearing a helmet when the crash happened, which the 68-year-old told The Sun he believes saved his life.

He said: "I'm 99 per cent certain that if I hadn't been wearing a helmet I would have paid with my life.

"The accident came out of nowhere. I was on my first downhill bend of the ride and my front tyre exploded, sending me crashing to the ground.

"I knew I'd done something serious as I couldn't breathe and I was in agony in my shoulder and rib cage."

The Phones 4u founder said he had climbed one of the mountains and was making his way back down when the accident happened.

He had gone round the first bend when the tyre exploded, sending him smashing to the ground.

Luckily, a passer-by saw the incident and called an ambulance while Mr. Caudwell "sat on the roadside barely conscious".

Mr Caudwell was still able to call his partner, Modesta Vzasniauskaite, a road racing cyclist from Lithuania.

He had to stay in an emergency medical facility for five days, an experience he describes as "agonising".

Mr Caudwell also says that he was put on a Covid ward, and was treated by nurses wearing hazmat suits who did not speak English.

He was also not allowed to see his family due to coronavirus restrictions placed around visiting.

He told the Sun: "It was terrifying having these people in hazmat suits appear every few hours and try to move all of my limbs. There was nothing I could do to stop it, even though I knew they shouldn't do it. We had a battle to move me."

Mr Caudwell said he was in so much pain he didn't have the energy to argue, calling his time in hospital "the most horrendous week of my life".

He has since been transferred to a hospital closer to his home in Monaco.

Doctors recently put a plate into his collarbone, he said.

Describing his recovery as a "long road ahead", Mr Caudwell said he was grateful to know what is going on around him.

He added: "The hardest bit in a way is not being able to lead my charity bike ride this year because I really love helping others."

Mr Caudwell said he will be cheering on those taking part in his annual Caudwell Children charity fundraiser on September 24 from his wheelchair.

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