`He was such a caring character, he would
have done anything for you'
by MARY MAGEE
mother of the young man killed in a motorbike accident in
Lisburn two weeks ago has described him as 'the best son a
mother could wish for.'
Paula Lemon's son Robert, from Whiteglen in
Lagmore, died after his motorbike slid from under him as he
travelled at just 22mph on a wet road at Grand Street. He was
knocked off the bike and hit a wall, severing an artery.
Robert had bought the one year old Honda bike
just three days before.
He was doing his apprenticeship in joinery at
the Knockmore campus of the South Eastern Regional College and
just weeks before had received a Young Achievers' Award at
Stormont for his work with the Princes Trust. During the 13 week
course with the Trust he had worked at an old people's home
where he helped tidy the garden and had raised money through bag
Robert also took part in the Four Peaks
Challenge, run by the YMCA two years ago, and was offered work
as a youth leader.
He was due to go to Capetown in South Africa
later this year, as part of the Springboard scheme, to build
Robert's proud mum spoke of what her son had
packed in such a short life.
"He had such a caring character," said Paula.
"He would have done anything for you. He was a real fighter who
refused to give up on anything. when he was wrong he would admit
it but would have done anything for anyone.
"He was a great fellow, and loved life."
Robert was a past pupil of Fort Hill College
and before starting his apprenticeship took a year out to help
his mother at home. She was pregnant with her fifth child at the
time and was very ill.
"I don't drive and I found it hard to get
about," said Paula.
"He went to the shops for me, sometimes ten
times a day. That was the sort of person he was, he just helped
out. He was the man of the house and I relied on him a lot."
Robert, who turned 18 in September, always
dreamed of owning a motorbike.
"He loved motorbikes and that was his dream to
have his own," said Paula. "He had scramblers but he always
wanted a road motorbike. "The bike was only a year old and
Robert was always very careful riding."
When Robert came off the bike he hit a wall
and severed a main artery to his heart.
"It was just a freak accident," Paula said. "
It could have been anyone and unfortunately it happened to my
"I was never 100 per cent behind him getting
a bike, I would have preferred him getting a car as it is safer.
But he always said that he wanted a bike and when he had enough
money he would buy one. That's what he wanted."
When Paula received a call about the accident
she travelled to the Lagan Valley in the ambulance with her son.
He was fully conscious and told his mother how much she meant to
him. Paula hugged him and held his hand and told him how much
she loved him.
As the ambulance neared the hospital Robert
complained of his ribs being sore and became unconscious. By the
time he got to Lagan Valley Hospital a team of 15 medical staff
worked on him and later that night was transferred to intensive
care at the Royal.
For nine hours he fought bravely before the life
support machine was switched off at 12.50am. Paula held his hand
as he slipped away.
"The doctors and staff just worked really
hard to save him," she said. "He was a real fighter and fought
to the very end. He fought for nine hours to stay alive."
Paula described her son as kind hearted and
"Someone told me that he could easily have
taken the 'wrong road' with his life but he chose the 'right
"He had lots of friends and everyone loved
him. If there was any trouble he just walked away. He always
said to me mum 'nothing is worth fighting about' "