Michael Bonney left Orange at the end of November and is now seeking a new job in the bike industry.
He said: "I suffered a life changing injury in March 2013. Orange kindly kept me employed since that date and I recently returned to work on a trial part-time basis in August. Sadly the business has changed, and my role (and disability) mean that we have come to an agreement [for me to leave]."
Bonney’s life changed when he fell from his road bike during a sportive, landing on his spine.
"15 degrees either side and I’d’ve broken my collarbone," said Bonney. Instead, he smashed his C3 vertebrae, severing his spinal cord. He cannot feel or control his limbs and, due to loss of diaphragm control, will always have his breathing done by a ventilator.
"Shit happens," he remarked, philosophically, last year.
"Life is dangerous. You can fall when getting out of the shower; I fell off my bike."
His knowledge and skills can be put to good use, he said, and is now seeking a job within the bike industry. He stressed that Orange had been monumentally supportive:
"I’d like to thank Lester [Noble] and Steve [Wade] for the opportunities they gave me. I’ve been proud to work and represent Orange for the last 20 years and have met and worked with some amazing people in that time, dealers, distributors, suppliers, riders and press. The last 20 years have been a fantastic journey."
He added: "It is now time for a new challenge and I will be looking for another role in the bike industry. I know this won’t be easy and am hoping that people will see beyond my disability and understand that, whilst physically limited, mentally I am the same person with the same knowledge and abilities."
Bonney can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org