James Puttrell rode his first motor bike on the circuit in 2012 aged 23, within two years he had won the Bemsee Rookie 600 championship and the Clubman championship trophies.
His developing racing career was cut short while competing in the National Superstock 600 Championship at Brands Hatch in 2015 when he was seriously hurt in a multiple bike crash.
He suffered a complete spinal cord injury at T4 causing paralysis. His other injuries were extensive – broken ribs, humerus bone, collarbones and a brain injury.
James’ spinal cord injury means he now has no feeling in his body from his lower chest down, he cannot move his legs or lower torso, and suffers neuropathic pain around his rib cage and in his lower legs. His brain injury has resulted in his speech being affected and short-term memory loss.
James is still coming to terms with his life-changing injury and its little-known effects. As well as not being able to control his own bladder and bowel function he, as well as other people with a spinal cord injury, is more likely to suffer with urinary and other infections. Recently, a cold turned into a chest infection, that then turned to pneumonia and life-threatening sepsis. This is because his injuries have taken away his ability to cough effectively.
A year prior to his accident, James met Sarah at the race track. Sarah has been beside James throughout his 11-month stay in hospitals and rehabilitation, moving from Norfolk to Hertfordshire to live with him and becoming his full-time carer, helping him through his adaptation to life with paralysis. They married in June 2018.
In April 2018 James’ sister Emma ran the London Marathon to raise funds for Spinal Research, a cause so close to her heart.