Ride for Grace
28 March 2010, 10:37
A teenager given a 3% chance of survival after a drink-drive crash that killed a 17 year old girl has completed a charity bike ride from Paris to Oxford.
It was to pay tribute to her, and raise money for Oxford's John Radcliffe Hospital.
Joe Robinson, 19, from Thame, was hurt in the crash between the Peartree and Botley interchanges of the A34 in the early hours of Tuesday 7 April 2009. Seventeen year old St Edwards School pupil Grace Hadman (pictured) was killed.
The two had been travelling in the car of Gabriella Edmondson, 18, from Penn, High Wycombe, who was over the alcohol limit. Friends had urged her not to drive because she had been drinking, but she had replied: "My car, my rules."
Edmondson was jailed for 28 months at Oxford Crown Court on Friday 9 October 2009.
Joe set off on his bike ride from Paris's Arc de Triomphe at 6.30am GMT on Thursday 25 March 2010. He, his brother Harry and friend Mallam Grant reached Oxford on Sunday 28 March, to lay flowers at St Edward's School in memory of Grace.
They also planned to travel on to the John Radcliffe Hospital to greet staff who helped treat Joe, and also present a cheque.
Joe says he wanted to do the bike ride to pay tribute to Grace, and say thanks to staff at the JR: "The importance of doing this cycle ride before April 7th 2010 is that it would be before the first anniversary of Grace's death and to show achievement in the face of adversity as the initial verdict was I would not survive. The second was that I would be paralysed.
"Never did they suggest I would only be in hospital for a mere two months, at best they were looking at me being inside for, twelve months. For me to do this cycle ride before April 7th means so much, it means defying the odds in being alive, in being able to walk and being out of hospital full stop."
Money raised from the ride will go towards the Neuroscience Intensive Care Unit at the John Radcliffe Hospital, which cared for Joe. So far Joe and his friends have already raised more than £24,000.
Grace's family issued the following statement about her, shortly after her death: "To us, she was the most perfect girl – thoughtful, kind, knowing, sensible, bubbly, happy, endlessly smiling, loving, and giving - so very beautiful inside and out.
"We cannot begin to describe how much we love her or pay tribute enough to her."
Updates from the cycle ride were posted on Twitter, which you can access using the link above.