Running for Robbie

Firefighters from the RAF Marham team are raising cash and awareness for a group of charities who have helped a dear friend and colleague.

Robbie Lynch has been in the RAF Fire and Rescue Service for sixteen years. He has completed over six tours of the Falkland’s as well as covering fire strikes, and his longest tour in Northern Ireland in 2002. But it was during an operation detachment to Camp Bastion in Afghanistan in May 2014 when he was involved in an incident that broke his back in three places.

Robbie was on shift and was the vehicle commander. After an aircraft emergency was declared, his vehicle was part of a combine mobile on the taxiway to the aircraft in distress. It was during this emergency that the vehicle Robbie was in charge of, was itself involved in an incident that left the driver unconscious and Robbie in a critical state.

After being rushed to hospital at Camp Bastion, the full nature of his injuries became apparent. Robbie had broken three vertebrae in a row and had heavy spinal cord damage.

He was then medically evacuated to the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Birmingham. Here he underwent a number of operations to put two large metal rods in his back with ten studs to cover an area of five vertebrae. He also required a specially designed cage to contain one vertebra that was badly broken into many pieces. He also had bone removed from a rib to be used during the procedures. During one of these operations he had a serious reaction to medication that for a brief moment stopped his breathing.

It was here that Robbie encountered the great work that “Cakes 4 Casualties, Troop Aid and Fisher House” do. Along with the RAF Benevolent Fund he found these charities made a huge difference to him and the support he recieved, especially for his long term partner Louise “Elmo” Galley and his mum who both struggled to adjust to the impact of the incident and the effect it had on Robbie.

Robbie then underwent rehabilitation that saw him recover and use his legs at a rate which the medical staff thought would not be possible. This led to him being transferred to Stanmore spinal unit before eventually being released to Headley Court to begin his long road of rehab, where he remains today doing numerous programmes and courses to enable him to continue to regain as much movement and ability as he can.

Robbie is desperate to give something back to the four charities which have helped him so much. At the moment he is unable to do this, but as his colleagues and friends, we certainly can. That is why we’ve arranged to run the Tough Mudder along side three half marathons including the Falklands,in dedication to him, his partner, all their family, and importantly the charities. Which although smaller than some charities, have given him an enormous amount of help through his on going rehabilitation and made a huge diffence to his recovery.

Robbie still has a long way to go, but this popular airman has the trade, the camp here at RAF Marham and all the section firmly behind him in his recovery. So as well as us running the thirteen mile Tough Mudder, there will be three lads; Sgt Lydon, SAC Roberts and SAC Draper, also running a full half marathon for Robbie. Please support us by visiting our just giving page: teams/running4robbie Look out for updates of our progress!

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