Reached the summit of Glen Nevis (Ben Nevis). It was tougher than what we thought as a team. The journey started with a little apprehension as we were given the weather warning of hurricanes, gale force winds and heavy rain. We had to complete the task we had come a long way to just turn back now. That really was not an option. It wasn’t in anyone’s character and plus the journey that we were about to embark on was for a greater cause.
“Our son, Archie Hollie was seemingly healthy but aged three weeks, collapsed suddenly. This led to us being in a waiting room for four hours whilst the crash team worked on stabilising our baby and us being sat down to say our son was gravely ill before he was whisked off by ambulance to Intensive Care at Leeds General Infirmary.
After spending some time in ICU he was diagnosed with life threatening heart problems and a few days later had spent six and a half hours having heart surgery to repair the main problem, which was a narrow main artery (or a coarctation of the aorta to any nurses reading this).
Due to the expert care of the nurses, cardiologists and surgeon our son is now thriving and, apart from a scar and hospital visits for life, you would be hard pressed to work out that anything was ever wrong with him.
The Archie Hollies Ben Trekkers Team will be heading up the highest peak in Britain, Ben Nevis, on a mammoth 7-9 hour walk on Friday August 20th 2010.
We are hoping to raise funds to split between the Childrens Heart Surgery Fund (which provides funding to the Paediatric Specialist Heart Centre at the LGI) and Ward 2 (the Paediatric Intensive Care Unit).
£100 would raise a nebuliser to deliver medication for children with wheezing problems.
£500 would buy a portable oxygen saturation monitor (to carry out spot checks on babies & children to test oxygen levels in blood which is a big indicator of how ill a baby is)
£1000 would buy the heart unit a special type of portable heart monitor which can be attached to the babies for 24hours, used to store and analyse their heart rhythms during periods of activity and sleep/rest, giving valuable information to use in their treatment.” Alyx and Carl
The weather was pleasant enough but we had to heed the warning given. So we set off on what an approximate 8 hour journey. The views were great as we continued up and the weather was holding strong. However we it was wishful thinking as I thought, the weather is not going to turn and it will be sunshine all the way through with great views at the summit. Out came the waterproofs and onwards and upwards. As we approached the 2.5 hour mark we all started to flake and were a little demoralised with the rain and strong winds as we warned. I’m sure in all our minds some doubt started to creep up. But onwards and upwards we went.
The Markers to indicate was a welcome sign we knew we were close. There were others that had completed their journey had informed us that we had 30 minutes. They were lying but that was a welcome boost that we all needed. It was more like 50 minutes or so in conditions what can only be described as, well, naked, wet to the bone, while being slapped continuously across the face, with visibility of no more than 2/3 meters, oh and the hands were swollen numb, and pretty much lost all sensations everywhere. I speak for myself here but I was hating every minute of this particular part of the journey. It was my low. But not for long. The summit neared.
What a sense of achievement. Hugs all round and a pat on our own backs for having made it. Time to eat our soggy sandwiches, I am sure I ate the packaging as well, it tasted nice. Took mental photo of the it all and then what goes up must come down.
Was it worth it? YES… It was a first for us all and we had achieved it. A triathlete friend of mine had warned me that once you have accomplished a triathlon, or climbed a mountain it can get addictive. I cannot say that right now but I want certainly want to climb some more. It is a competition with former-self.
Thank you to Alyx and Carl for inviting me to take part and the rest of the team Tony, Jane, Victoria, and Kim. Job well done guys.