Home Chaplains Notes Photo Gallery Links Contact Us

Passionate about Bikes - Passionate about God….

Riding for the Son

Chaplains Notes

Don’t let any man tell you what you can’t do.

14 July 2000, a date that is always in our mind, whenever we look back at an event or time, it is always before or after this date.

I woke up, I didn’t know where I was, the room was unfamiliar, I could hardly move, someone was talking beside the bed, I was able to make out who through my blurred double vision, it was my minister, he talked about the weather and whatever you talk about to an unresponsive bundle of bandages lying on a bed (I had a tracheotomy at the time so couldn’t speak, my left arm was useless and heavily bandaged, I had a halo cage on my head/neck and could see 2 of everything). Then he said a prayer and bid me God’s blessing and left me.

I drifted in and out of consciousness for a while, then my wife (Heather) was by my side, she told me I’d had a motorcycle accident, I collided with a lorry when the driver pulled out on me and T boned me at a T junction, (sorry didn’t see ya mate), I had damaged my brachial plexus (my what?) I had lost my spleen (what’s that?) broken my neck in 2 places C1 & C2, (yeh the very top of your neck) and for good measure you have damaged your brain, (scars all over the surface of your brain). She told me this many times before I could take it all in, (my brain was in bad shape) because of brain damage I didn’t know I had 3 kids until she told me, I didn’t know what kind of a house I lived in (and I built it), I had to learn to read and write again at a tender age of 32.  I had a lot of cognitive skill problems then and still do have a fair few, but God is good.  I find out later that I was hit on my left side and flung 50 feet across the road, bounced off the road and down a bank, cue my first miracle - an off duty paramedic came across my accident, he drove past the line of cars and told the police who he was, this Good Samaritan saved my life 1000 times (I believe God timed it perfectly) a policeman was already attending me, he had his hand inside my shoulder trying to stop the bleeding.

When after coming out of intensive care, I was moved to another more specialist hospital (Royal Victoria Hospital, Belfast), the notes on my brain injury were left behind and I wasn’t treated for a brain injury for over a year, I believe God was working here because I was sent home after 5 weeks and 1 day. I think my wife gave me care that was second to none, I was at home with my family, with Heathers home cooking and she pushed me to do things on my own with one arm and a dodgy brain (imagine sitting on the kitchen floor with a tin of peaches, a tin opener, a hammer and a screwdriver at 2am and you want those peaches, yeh, I got them and not too much blood spilt, you wanna see the tin).  Meanwhile I was taken to the Royal National Orthopaedic Hospital in Stanmore London, I had 3 operations on my arm, 2 of them didn’t work so my arm is of limited use “BUT” 1 operation did work, the one to my hand. This operation gave me the ability to grasp something, I can’t lift my arm but I can hold onto things like a handle or a bar, yeh you got it, a handlebar. I had the ability to hold on to a handlebar, I couldn’t clutch or use indicators but I could hold on (God is good).

God is good to me because shortly after I woke up I decided to change my life and follow our Lord Jesus and devote my life to Him, He has blessed me so much in all the trials and temptations life has thrown at me since. At the time my biggest hurdle was being told I would never drive again because of my injuries, the day the Dr told me that was (I thought) the worst day of my life, it was like being hit with a navvy shovel, (he had the bedside manner of the same shovel).

I loved driving, this was big, how could I survive without a licence?  I was in the darkest place I have ever known, I couldn’t see a way out of this, I did think about ending things but I couldn’t do that to my beautiful wife and kids, I sat feeling sorry for myself at a field, it was a lovely day, but, I couldn’t see it, I prayed and prayed, then I said to myself “I’m not going to let ANY MAN tell me what I can’t do, it is up to Jesus if I get my licence back”, at that my world brightened up. I started praying a gimme prayer, gimme my licence Lord, gimme my licence.  

Seven and a half years after the accident I was still praying that prayer, then one Sunday morning my minister said something in church, ping (light bulb moment) I realised I was praying wrong.  I started thanking our Lord for my licence, I was 100% sure it was coming and I told Him I would put it to good use.  I also got my trusty Yamaha XJ650 out of the garage (now a trike) and got it ready for mot, at the same time I approached my GP, I told him I wanted to try for my licence, he studied my case and put me in contact with DVLNI, they started things rolling, I had to have tests, eyesight test, cognitive skills test, drive a car on public roads, just to prove I could (first time in nearly 8 years) and prayers (many of them) 8 years, 1 week after my accident I got my licence back, that day I got my XJ out of the garage and hit the road.  The next year at a bike show in Belfast I came across some guys/gals from CMA, I joined their ranks (I did promise our Lord I would use my licence to do good). I have made many friends in the CMA, we have a great brotherhood and (as I have experienced) a great prayer fellowship, right across the world (a story for another day).

A year later I told my wife I wanted to tour Europe, we bought a Triumph Rocket 111 in 2009 and converted it to a trike, we have been in most countries in Western Europe from Croatia to Norway, we’ve given out some biker bibles along the way too, Mike Fitton gave me some German bibles to give out one year. God blesses me all the time, I have now left the trikes, it’s good to be back on 2 wheels again, I bought a Honda with a DCT gearbox, with little adaptions I am road legal again. I’m now planning on the EMC rally next year in Norway.

All credit to our Lord but Heather needs some credit too, she saw too much that day, she was at the scene 5 mins after the accident, she was with me every step of the way, every hospital appointment, every dressing change, every time I/we cried, she told Dr’s, nurses, physios all about my condition (a professor even got her to address his interns one day in Stanmore). This lady doesn’t stand in my way when I get on my bike to go to England to the CMA rally, or for a quick spin at the weekend (30mph). My wife Heather is a very strong, brave lady, full of the Holy Spirit.

I have some people to thank. Heather, the paramedic, the policeman, ambulance service, Dr’s, nurses, all other medical staff, the twelve people who each donated blood for me, the many people who prayed for me, and last but certainly not least, or Lord Jesus.

Robbie Stewart CMA (Northern Ireland)

God Bless you. - Don’t let any man tell you what you can’t do.