A34 Crash Victim attempts to raise a MILLION! Please Read…

17th March 2010

Flicking through the national dailies, there is no shortage of stories detailing the tremendous courage of ordinary individuals, their triumphs in the face of adversity or admirable feats of selflessness for the benefit of others. My encounters with such people until very recently have been confined to the newspaper headlines, however, sometimes a personal friend can exceed all expectations, go beyond the call of duty and demonstrate an untold level of valour.

Joe and friend Mallam Grant will be making the ride

On the 7th of April 2009, Joe Robinson’s life hung in the balance after a horrendous car crash left him fighting for survival in intensive care, having suffered five broken vertebrae and a skull fractured across half the diameter of his head. Coupled with this, in hospital he also contracted, MRSA, meningitis and pneumonia. He was given just a 3% chance of survival. Another passenger, 17 year old Grace Hadman tragically died in the accident.

The wreckage of the Toyota Yaris

In a coma for three weeks, the tributes to Joe poured in. His family rarely ever left his bedside, the odds of a recovery, though, seemed little short of impossible. Less than a year on, he is focussed towards one goal, raising the estimated £1m it cost Oxford’s John Radcliffe hospital to keep him alive.

Regarding the accident itself, his memories are distorted, “I was sat next to Grace in that devastating car crash…my last memory was of being on a night out, then after that it was being told I was going home from hospital.”

However, he is in no doubt as to how he made such a miraculous recovery “the John Radcliffe’s doctors, surgeons, consultants and nurses fought day and night to keep me alive. They defied the odds and succeeded.”

Joe prior to the accident

Just eleven months on, Joe, who played cricket for Oxfordshire and rugby for the Irish Exiles U20’s is geared up towards the first of his challenges to raise the money spent on round-the-clock care, operations, drugs and feeding during his hospital treatment. The first sees him do a sponsored cycle ride from Paris to the JR Hospital, with which he hopes to raise £20,000 to pay for a thermo-cooling machine, a key component of the treatment he received. His reasons for doing so show both maturity and conviction. “For me to do this cycle ride before the 7th of April means so much. It means defying the odds in being able to walk…in being alive. There are two main reasons I want to do it. The first is that it’s in loving memory of Grace, a very close friend. The second is not only that I want to give back some of what the hospital have given me, but to help save others in the future.

With date of departure just a week away, I hope you will join me in wishing him the very best of luck. If you are interested in making a donation to Joe’s cause, please visit www.justgiving.com/jr4jr

by Ed Tarlton