Nearly three and a half years ago, my father had a heart attack. At the time, we were on holiday in the Lake District, and he and my brother had gone out for the day to walk up Helvellyn, the third highest mountain in England. A few miles up, he started to have the traditional tight chest and shooting pains down his left arm. They called 999, and because of the location an air ambulance was sent to pick him up.
Three and a half years later, he’s fine. Two stents inserted into his blood vessels, and a bucketload of pills every morning, but otherwise he’s fine. I’m convinced that the main contributor to that is the fact that the air ambulance could get him to James Cook University Hospital so quickly, where he could receive expert treatment.
Why am I telling you this? Well, as a little background to what I’m going to say next.
My little brother, Andrew, and a couple of his more mental friends are taking part in Berkshire Scouts’ Three Towers hike event in April. There’s a more detailed summary on the site, but basically they have to walk a course of 45 miles in length, through fifteen checkpoints, completing the whole hike in one day (and night). It’s a pretty gruelling , and they’re guaranteed to finish up feeling very much worse for wear.
They are doing this Herculean task to raise money for both the Great North Air Ambulance service, who were responsible for airlifting my dad off the side of a mountain, and their local counterpart the Thames Valley and Chilterns Air Ambulance Service. The reasoning behind this is my above tale of parental woe, and they are now taking sponsorships.
So here’s my pitch to you. Please sponsor my brother and his friends on their walk. The air ambulances are a fantastic resource of the emergency services, and they really do save lives. My Dad is walking proof of that. And having seen Andy do (shorter) versions of this hike before, I know that they will earn every penny.
And you can even gift aid your donation (if you’re an income tax payer) and George Osborne will add a little extra on top of your donation. Please click the snazzy link-button below to sponsor them.