Tragic race doctor saved biker's life just a fortnight ago
More than 26,000 people call for air-ambulance service
The motorcycle race doctor who died at the Skerries 100 road race at the weekend heroically saved the life of a top rider just two weeks ago.
Tributes have continued to pour in for medic John Hinds who died following an accident at a practice session for the famous north-Dublin road race.
Dr Hinds (35) has been hailed for his work by motorcyclists and medics around the world.
He was rushed to Beaumont Hospital on Friday night but was pronounced dead the following morning.
The president of Motorcycling Ireland Sean Bissett last night told the Herald that Dr Hinds had saved "many lives" during his stellar career.
"He was one of the top, top travelling doctors in Ireland. As far as trauma care is concerned he is out of this world. He has saved so many lives," Mr Bissett added and revealed that Dr Hinds saved the life of top rider, Ian Morrell, after the Northern Irishman crashed during a race in Co Meath two weeks ago.
"We had an incident in Kells where a rider was very badly injured and John Hinds worked on him and saved him.
"He had to be airlifted to Beaumont Hospital and he is still there receiving treatment but he certainly wouldn't be there without his intervention."
Due to the extent of Mr Morrell's injuries, he continues to receive treatment in Dublin.
A online campaign to raise money for his care has been launched.
Last week Ian's wife Michelle wrote that he had come off a ventilator and was being moved out of the intensive care unit.
"He still has a long way to go regarding his recovery but he will get there," she said.
Separate probes into the accident that killed Dr Hinds have been launched by gardai and Motorcycling Ireland.
Mr Bissett said some early investigation work has already been undertaken, including examining the motorcycle.
It's believed Dr Hinds, who was following behind riders, lost control of his motorbike and sustained serious head injuries when he fell from his bike.
Dr Hinds, from Co Armagh, worked as a consultant anaesthetist in Craigavon Hospital.
His colleagues expressed their sympathies to John's partner Janet and his family.
"John was a much loved and highly-regarded member of the Intensive Care Team as a greatly skilled, dedicated and compassionate doctor whose patients always came first," interim chief executive for the Southern Health and Social Care Trust Paula Clarke said.
"We are all deeply saddened by his tragic and untimely passing."
Dr Hinds had also been campaigning for the North to develop an air-ambulance service and had recently met with the North's Health Minister Simon Hamilton about its introduction. Mr Hamilton spoke of his shock following Dr Hinds' passing.
"His skill was undoubted but what shone through was his passion for his work. John was extremely well-regarded not just within the medical profession but right across the motor cycling world" he said.
An online petition, set up as part of Dr Hinds' campaign calling for the air-ambulance service, had received more than 26,000 signatures this morning.
A post-mortem is expected to take place in Beaumont Hospital. A massive cortege of bikers will then accompany Dr Hinds' remains when they are taken back up North for his funeral.