A teenager is aiming to return to his Stamford home next month - less than a year after he was seriously injured in a rugby accident.
Eighteen-year-old George Robinson was hurt while playing rugby for Stamford School in Cape Town, South Africa, last July. The impact of going in for a tackle caused a transection of his spinal cord.
He spent more than a month in a South African Hospital before being flown to Addenbrooke’s Hospital in Cambridge for a further five weeks. He was then transferred to the Princess Royal Spinal Unit in Sheffield, where he remains undergoing rehabilitation.
But this week, his father Simon revealed that George is preparing to come home next month and intends to return to Stamford School in September to complete his A-level studies. He also hopes to complete an EPQ on the learning that can be shared on his injury.
Simon said: “As a family we are looking forward to us being back together and to move forward into this new and exciting stage of our lives.
“It is timely that the Invictus Games are on this week and we are in awe of people with all types of disabilities that choose to overcome them and take on new and inspiring challenges and demonstrate that anything is possible.
“As George prepares to come home, one of his goals is to make people aware of the importance of inclusivity and accessibility.”
Later this month, George will be taking an AS-level maths exam and he is learning to communicate his answers through a scribe.
Simon, George’s mother Gill and his younger brother Eddie have continued to be overwhelmed by the support of the local community via the #teamgeorge campaign.
Since George’s accident, dozens of fundraising activities have been held to help the family fund the specialist equipment George will continue to need.
Already funds raised have been put towards a customised electric wheelchair and other rehabilitation needs including one-to-one maths lessons whilst he has been in hospital.
Celebrities have also been pictured showing their support for the brave teen by donning bobble hats with the #teamgeorge logo.
Simon added: “The support from the community has been magnificent and a tremendous and constant source of uniting energy with #teamgeorge.
“The active goodwill from our friends, Stamford School and the wonderful community of Stamford and surrounding areas has been wonderful and uplifting to be part of and we are full of admiration and appreciation.
“The creativity and initiative of all the events that have been organised is breathtakingly inspirational and we love the fact that people have been so active, sporty and energised in the events that have been organised ranging from: fashion shows, endurance walks, the Rat Race, cricket, rugby and football games, spinathons, concerts - many selfless acts of kindness.
“The lovely point is that it creates friendships, bonds and stories by taking on different challenges and George finds this very inspiring.”
George’s younger brother Eddie was among those who took on the Rat Race at the weekend with his schoolmates. And on Friday last week, Bourne Cricket Club hosted a T20 game to raise funds.
A few weeks ago, on April 30, George enjoyed his second day out of hospital visiting Leicester Tigers, where he met Matt Hampson. Matt, from Cold Overton, was injured in a similar rugby accident and went onto set up the Matt Hampson Foundation to help those with serious injuries, particularly having arisen from sport. He has already offered support to Wansford youngster Seb Goold, who lost a leg when he fell from a moving coach on the way back from a rugby tournament.
Matt met George during the Tigers game, in which Tigers won against Worcester, and George was interviewed on the pitch in front of 20,000 fans.
Simon said it was a “thoroughly entertaining and stimulating day”. He added: “The players were so warm and such impressive role models that took a genuine interest in George’s injury. It was also nice to get a delicious meal and break the pattern of a hospital environment.
“Matt and George are kindred spirits and have a shared understanding in light of their experiences. Matt very kindly reached out to George early on to offer support, wisdom and advice.”
His previous visit out of hospital was on March 7 when he visited Stamford School to see his drama friends perform Taming of the Shrew.
l The Mercury continues to publicise the efforts of people backing the #teamgeorge campaign. To tell us what you’re doing, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
Alternatively to find out more visit www.facebook.com/teamgeorge2015 or to donate directly visit www.justgiving.com/teamgeorge2016.