Lincolnshire

Injured cyclist Ryan Smith to turn on Skegness lights

Ryan Smith and family
Image caption Ryan Smith returned home three months ago, over a year after his accident

A teenager who suffered a serious brain injury in a cycling accident is helping switch on Christmas lights in Skegness after making an "amazing" recovery.

Ryan Smith's family were told he could die after he collided with a van in Hogsthorpe, Lincolnshire in July 2013.

But the 17-year-old survived, regained some of his movement and speech, and returned home three months ago.

He has been rehearsing a short speech to say at the lights switch-on.

His father, Mark Smith, said it would be a "huge landmark".

"I think we are still pinching ourselves as to how far he has come so quickly," he said.

"We never envisaged he would be able to do these things again; we are just amazed at how interactive he has become.

"We are still sad about what's gone on but we have to look forward and give Ryan every opportunity in life."

Image copyright John Byford
Image caption Ryan Smith has rehearsed a short speech to say at the Skegness Christmas lights switch-on

Thousands of people are expected to attend the event at The Hildreds Shopping Centre at 19:00 GMT.

Mr Smith said his son was chosen after people suggested it on Facebook.

"They said 'We don't want a radio presenter, we want our Ryan'," said Mr Smith.

"We want to thank everybody for their wonderful support and hopefully it will be a real success for the community and Ryan.

"He's really looking forward to it and I hope it's going to be a lovely evening."

The family live about seven miles (11km) away from Skegness, in the village of Chapel St Leonards.

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