Olympic flame lights up life of brave crash survivor Joe

Joe Robinson Olympic Torchbearer from Thame with his friends
Joe Robinson Olympic Torchbearer from Thame with his friends

A man who was given just a 3% chance of survival after a car crash that claimed the life of his close friend has taken part in the Olympic torch relay.

Joe Robinson, 21, of Oxford Road, Thame, was a back seat passenger in a crash in 2009, in which he broke his back in three places, his neck in two places and fractured his skull.

Despite the horrific accident, just under a year later the former John Hampden Primary School pupil had organised a cycle ride from Paris to the John Radcliffe Hospital and raised a staggering £37,000 as a way of thanking staff for ‘keeping him alive’.

Now, after being nominated by the hospital, his family and friends, Joe got the chance of a lifetime to run with the famous flame in Theale.

“The relay was amazing, it was wicked,” he said.

“It was a great atmosphere, and it was so much fun. It blew anything I imagined it to be like completely out of the water. I ran it on behalf of the hospital, or at least that’s how I see it – I wouldn’t be running at all if they hadn’t kept me alive.

“I’m going to take the pictures into the hospital of the event, to show all the staff and patients. I wanted to do the relay to give patients at the hospital, and others who went through similar things to me, hope – to show them that you can get through it.

“When you’re getting over something like that, hope is priceless.”

After his accident in 2009, Joe was left in an induced coma

for a month, during which time he contracted MRSA, pneumonia and meningitis.

“But the real difficulty was the brain surgery,” he added.

“I had to have three operations on my brain, as when I was in the accident, my head took quite a hard hit on the side of the car.

“It meant I had a drastic build up of fluid and a potentially fatal amount of pressure.”