GRAPHIC: Off-duty ambo bashed during sick kids charity ride
An off-duty paramedic riding his bike to raise money for sick kids said he was knocked off and bashed by a bunch of young thugs.
Daniel Mansbridge, 42, was 7km into his 1000km campaign for the Great Cycle Challenge when he said a teenager jumped in front of him, knocking him off his bike at Windang Bridge, near Shellharbour about 11am Friday.
"He clipped my shoulder and I ended up going headfirst over the handle bars and landing on my head," Mr Mansbridge said.
Rattled but not badly injured Mr Mansbridge got to his feet while the young group laughed and began walking back towards them.
"I just wanted to explain how silly that was of him," he said.
The young boy had moved behind older teenagers who then came at him, Mr Mansbridge said.
"They came over and started giving me a bit of push and shove and I said 'hang on a second'.
"They just whaled on me. On the ground and blood was just pouring out of me."
Mr Mansbridge said once he explained he only wanted to speak to the young man, the group apologised to him.
"The guys who beat me up said they were sorry. One of them got my bike and brought my bike over to me.
"Another got my earphones for me."
But by that stage the damage was done, Mr Mansbridge could not see out of his swollen left eye where he said he had been punched.
He sustained an orbital floor fracture in the bottom of his eye socket and rang his local ambulance colleagues who took him to hospital. He spent the night in Wollongong Hospital and is due to undergo surgery in the coming weeks.
Mr Mansbridge said he did not necessarily want the teenagers to get into trouble but said they needed to know the damage they had caused.
"The next day my kids wouldn't come near me," he said.
"These kids were just kids having fun in a group, this kid was showing off to his mates and it all went south from that."
Mr Mansbridge said the silver lining to his serious injury was public donations to his campaign had increased - his campaign page had raised $900 while another GoFundMe page set up in his name had also raised $600.
"My donations have gone through the roof … if there is a positive here, the kids will get more money," he said.
The Great Cycle Challenge raises money for children to help fund treatment for children diagnosed with cancer.