We have a special blog post for you today, dedicated to one of our most courageous rowers.
Although we consider all of our rowers to be of equal merit, choosing to take on Mother Nature and everything she has to throw at them in the form of the Atlantic Ocean, there’s one rower amongst the fleet that has a particularly outstanding story of bravery, courage and motivation.
Lee Spencer of Row2Recovery will today be marking the second year anniversary of the night that changed his life forever. Despite serving in Afghanistan 3 times, as well as tours of Northern Ireland and Iraq, it was a devastating road traffic accident on the M3 that resulted in the loss of his right leg. Lee had stopped to help another driver having car trouble, and as he tried to warn oncoming traffic there was a collision at 70mph, forcing the car’s engine out of the car and hurtling towards Lee.
Father and daughter Frank and Zanele Sabindi were on the scene that fateful night, and played a pivotal role in saving Lee’s life. Lee was able to guide the pair using his medical training, before he went in to shock. They got in touch with Lee last night, on the eve of the anniversary, leaving this heartfelt message of support:
“Wow, what a guy. You are one of a kind. You are doing so much and you have touched, changed hearts of many people. From me and my family you have our support all the way. To be honest, you and your family have become part of our family. Since that fateful night and what you went through, brother, it shows how strong willed you’re are and determined to achieve your goals. I’m glad that me and my daughter were there to help. I now realise that from that day (05-01-2014) not only did I gain a friend, I gained a brother and a family. From all of us Lee, we say: Go Lee Go Lee Go Lee we are proud of you man,we love you man.”
Of course, we also applaud the other amputee rowers that make up Row2Recovery – skipper Dragoon Lance Corporal Cayle Royce from Devon, who underwent a double amputation and lost the fingers on his left hand following an IED blast in Helmand, Afghanistan whilst serving in the Brigade Reconnaissance Force in 2012. Former Irish Guardsman Paddy Gallagher from Cambridgeshire, who lost his right leg below the knee in an IED blast in Nad E Ali, Afghanistan in 2009. And finally former RAF Flight Sergeant Parachute Jump Instructor Nigel Rogoff from Hereford, who lost his leg above the knee whilst taking part in a Royal Air Force parachuting display.
Row2Recovery are currently 4th in the fours category, and 9th in all boats. This is an incredible accomplishment for a team that only has 3 legs between them! The boys are proving that life exists beyond injury, and that nobody should place limits on their achievements, even when faced with the most devastating adversity. Bravo!
There’ll be an update tomorrow for the rest of the rowers in this year’s Talisker Whisky Atlantic Challenge, but in the mean time you can visit our race tracker for the latest race progress.