A firefighter and former Isle of Man TT motorcycle racer has revealed how The Fire Fighters Charity helped him learn to walk again after he was left in a coma following a major crash which tragically claimed the life of his close friend.
Ivan Lintin, 37, who works on-call for Lincolnshire Fire and Rescue Service in North Hykeham Fire Station, was left fighting for his life in July 2018 following a four-bike accident at the Southern 100 in the Isle of Man.
Ivan suffered a serious head injury in the crash, as well as a broken leg and broken pelvis. He says: “Unfortunately it cost the life of my friend James and I was in quite a serious way from it. I had nine weeks in hospital and two weeks in a coma.”
Luckily, Ivan knew about the support on offer to him from The Fire Fighters Charity, having fundraised and donated throughout his career, as well as seeing colleagues supported.
The Charity supports serving and retired fire and rescue service personnel, their dependants and other eligible members of the UK fire services community, throughout their lives, helping them to live happier and healthier.
Ivan got in touch shortly after his accident and was offered a week’s rehabilitation at Jubilee House, one of the Charity’s three residential centres.
During his time there, he was offered the chance to walk on the Charity’s Alter-G anti-gravity treadmill, which essentially lifts an individual’s weight up with an airbag around the waist, to enable walking without bearing full weight.
“It’s the first ever time I’ve walked confidently, like I used to, since the crash,” Ivan said at the time. “It’s absolutely brilliant. I’ve come here obviously as a firefighter and I really want to get back on the run, get back to normal work, do the normal bits in life. Just coming here seems to have made all that a step nearer, it’s fantastic.”
Two and a half years after visiting Jubilee House, Ivan was able to return to work as an on-call firefighter and says that’s all thanks to kind-hearted donations from The Fire Fighters Charity’s supporters.
He adds: “I finally got back into the service after a lot of work. It was two and a half years after visiting Jubilee House – I had to do loads of training and get back up to speed again. I really enjoy being back in the firefighting world now, I missed it.
With the Charity relying almost entirely on donations to fund its vital work, none of the support offered to Ivan would have been possible without the generosity of its supporters. You can support firefighters like Ivan and other members of the UK’s fire services community, by donating now at www.firefighterscharity.org.