Injured death crash survivor fights to gain degree success

Grace Robinson, bottom right, and brother, Joe, bottom left, with mum Judi and dad Kevin

Grace Robinson, bottom right, and brother, Joe, bottom left, with mum Judi and dad Kevin

First published in News

JOE Robinson was left fighting for his life after a car crash on the A34 that killed one of his friends.

Given a mere three per cent chance of survival by medics, he was in a coma for a month.

Making a full recovery seemed nothing short of a miracle.

But now, five years on, he is preparing to graduate this month from Oxford Brookes University with a Masters in Real Estate.

Mr Robinson, now 23, said: “It’s like an ongoing battle. It’s like me versus the injuries so it does really take it out of me sometimes.

“It’s been something that has taken complete control and main importance in my life. I’m still walking on this path and I don’t know where the finish line is.”

In the crash, which killed 17-year-old friend Grace Hadman in April 2009, Mr Robinson broke his back in three places, neck in two places and had a skull fracture running halfway across his head.

Gabriella Edmondson, of Penn, Bucks, was sentenced to 28 months in jail and banned from driving for four years in October 2009 after pleading guilty to causing death by careless driving while drunk.

Then aged just 18, Mr Robinson needed round-the-clock care from the John Radcliffe Hospital’s neuro intensive care unit. The former pupil at Oxford’s St Edward’s School also caught pneumonia, meningitis and MRSA as his body battled the injuries. Mr Robinson, from Thame, said: “The accident made me realise how dangerous cars are and how we take them for granted. I really cherish every day. Life can change literally in seconds. It really hammers home to me how invaluable my family is to me.”

After leaving hospital on May 30, 2009, Mr Robinson was in a wheelchair for a month. He needed support from occupational therapists, physiotherapists, speech therapists, brain consultants and neck and back specialists.

Mr Robinson still suffers problems with his short-term memory, attention, concentration, facial recognition, problem solving and planning.

Yet in 2013, his hard work paid off and he graduated from Exeter University with a 2:1 in Geography. While studying, he twice received the Dean’s Commendation for Outstanding Performance in Exceptional Circumstances, becoming the first person to receive the award twice in 55 years.

Now, to mark five years since the crash, Joe’s sister Grace Robinson has vowed to raise money for the medical unit that saved her brother’s life. She has already raised £800 after completing March’s Salisbury Aquathlon, as well as the Blenheim Triathlon and the Thame 10km Road Race in June.

And on Monday she began a week-long climb of 5,895 metre-high Kilimanjaro, in Tanzania, the highest mountain in Africa.

Miss Robinson, 22, said: “It’s been really difficult, but you just keep taking it in your stride and see how it goes. It’s hard but we are a close family, it’s been difficult but we get through it.

“Joe has kept going so it shows what perseverance can do. It’s still like a continuous journey, but I’m very proud of what he has achieved.”

Do you want alerts delivered straight to your phone via our WhatsApp service? Text NEWS, SPORT and JAYDEN depending on what services you want, and your full name to 07767 417704. Save our number into your phone as Oxford Mail WhatsApp and ensure you have WhatsApp installed.

  • Our top stories

UPDATE: Car fire and oil spillage closes A40 near Ducklington and A34 car fire cause delays

Oxford Mail: A40 alert

4:03pm Friday 19th December 2014

A CAR fire and oil spillage closed the A40 westbound causing severe delays.

Motorcyclist 'punches pensioner and hits his car windscreen with helmet' after Cutteslowe crash

Oxford Mail: Thames Valley Police logo

12:00pm Friday 19th December 2014

A PENSIONER was “severely” injured when he was attacked in his car by a motorcyclist in Cutteslowe, police said.

UPDATE: Body found after motorhome fire at caravan site near Chipping Norton

Oxford Mail: Thames Valley Police logo

11:30am Friday 19th December 2014

A BODY was found after a fire at a caravan site motorhome.

What brilliant picture is in our Oxford Mail Advent Calendar today?

Oxford Mail:

6:00am Tuesday 9th December 2014

December is Advent Calendar time and we have a special new interactive graphic for you each and every day until Christmas Eve. I've chosen the best 24 pictures of 2014 and I'll be unveiling one a day - so what is behind's today's door?

Oxford United striker John Campbell is keen to make his mark at Hartlepool

Oxford Mail:

9:30am Friday 19th December 2014

John Campbell admits it would be difficult to keep his kit on if he was able to make an impact on debut for Oxford United tomorrow.

‘New £9.2m Leys pool’s too small for contests’

Oxford Mail:

7:00am Friday 19th December 2014

SWIMMING competitions planned for the new £9.2m pool in Blackbird Leys could be at risk due to lack of space, it has been warned.

Comments

Comments are closed on this article.

Send us your news, pictures and videos

Most read stories

Local Info

Enter your postcode, town or place name

About cookies

We want you to enjoy your visit to our website. That's why we use cookies to enhance your experience. By staying on our website you agree to our use of cookies. Find out more about the cookies we use.

I agree