gofundme appeal for lejog cyclist in hit and run

Wednesday 12th June 2019

I actually find typing this brief quite upsetting. Maybe because we have now become a father, maybe because we've been riding for so long and have had our close incidents too or maybe because it's just another incident that shouldn't of happened and even then, by someone just leaving the other for dead?! Sad just doesn't cut it and knowing what Jean-Pierre was striving to achieve - LEJOG for charity - it hits home that these things can and most probably will continue to happen. Our thoughts go out to Jean-Pierre and his family and hope that one day, he will be able to return to finish what he started...

A heartfelt GoFundMe appeal has been launched for a well-respected motivational speaker and Ironman triathlete who was left in intensive care, with life threatening injuries, after he was involved in a hit and run collision during a John O’Groats to Land’s End charity cycle challenge.


Jean-Pierre de Villiers, (37) from Welton in Northamptonshire, had cycled 880 out of the 1000 miles, and was on the last two days of his ride, when he was hit by the uninsured, driver who fled the scene of the accident and left him for dead by the side of the road.


The crash happened in the North Devon seaside resort of Ilfracombe and police have arrested a 69-year-old man on suspicion of four offences, including dangerous driving and driving while disqualified.


On the GoFundMe page it reads “The car hit him with such force, he went over the car, flew over the barriers and was wedged in between a tree and the barrier. His bike was shattered into pieces. He was airlifted from North Devon to Derriford Hospital in Plymouth with two badly broken legs, a fractured arm and potentially life-threatening internal injuries.


“Jean-Pierre is still in Intensive Care, having suffered serious internal organ injuries, including a perforated bowel and lung and has since undergone multiple complex surgeries. He has also developed a nasty chest infection which has caused breathing problems as well as irregular heartbeat. He remains in huge amounts of pain.


“We are so devastated by what happened to Jean-Pierre. As an athlete, fitness is his life, so this is going to be devastating for him. It will no doubt be a long road to recovery for him and he will not be able to work for the foreseeable future. Doctors told JP he is lucky to be alive and if he hadn’t had such a high level of fitness and strong will, he might not have survived.


“We have created this GoFundMe page to give back in a time of vulnerability to a wonderful human being who has selflessly given so much to so many throughout his life. Since the accident, thousands of people from all over the world have reached out with stories of how JP has positively affected them. He has given so much and almost lost his life trying to help others. Now we want to help him!”


Jean-Pierre’s devoted wife Julia, who has been by his bedside since the accident, said: “After multiple surgeries, JP left intensive care this week and will be transferred to a hospital in Coventry, closer to where we live. However, he will still require extensive rehabilitation to heal and recover from this traumatic event and so any donations are truly appreciated. The support so far has been unbelievable, but we still have a long road ahead of us.” 

Jean-Pierre had entered the charity ride with his friend Callum O’Brien, who was able to finish the ride alone to continue raising money for Macmillan Cancer support and the Addie Brady Foundation.


Jean-Pierre is a performance coach, international speaker, vegan athlete and author. He is also a Thai boxer, and Ironman triathlete.


Since the incident JP has received support from a number of other high profile inspirational influencers on social media including Jay Shetty (who recently appeared on The Ellen Degeneres Show); Richard Williams aka Prince Ea (the American spoken word artist, poet, and filmmaker); Matthew Pritchard (aka the Dirty Vegan) and Lisa Nichols (the celebrated motivational speaker who has inspired millions through her seminars and her role as a featured teacher in The Secret.)


His wife Julia said: “I have no doubt that JP will return from this even stronger and will inspire millions more with his inspirational story.”


To date the appeal has raised over £26,000.

To support the campaign, please visit:


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