“Callout 081114; At approx 1450 hrs today the team received a request for assistance for an injured walker. The adult female had been descending into the Happy Valley from the summit of Slieve Meelbeg when she fell. The team responded, located and stabilised the casualty for suspected neck, back and chest injuries and hypothermia. The casualty was then stretchered into the Valley to team vehicles for transfer to road access and handover to NIAS. A further two group members were treated for hypothermia and assisted to road access. A total of 14 members responded and stood down at 1810 hrs.”
On 8th November 2014, I was involved in a serious hiking accident in the Mourne Mountains. I rolled uncontrollably several feet before hitting a boulder and dropping 5 foot of the other side. For two hours I lay in agonising pain with my two close scouting friends, Mark Gillespie and Conor McGeough. I will never forget everything they did for me that day and the time following the accident.
The unsung heroes of the day were the Mourne Mountain Rescue Team. A total of 14 members responded to the callout. After locating us, they stabilised my suspected neck, back and chest injuries, as well as treating me for hypothermia. I was then stretchered into Happy Valley (ironically) to the teams vehicles where I was transferred to road access and handed over to NIAS.
It goes without saying I am extremely grateful for their help that day. However, my gratitude goes beyond their care in those few hours on the mountain. After x-rays and CT scans, I was made aware of the severity of my injuries. I broke my T4 and T6 vertebrae completely in half. I was told I would need an operation to fix them in place. Several spinal surgeons made me aware of how lucky I was to not have damaged my spinal cord. They were astonished at the fact that I had been transported from the top of a mountain with such serious injuries. My injuries were serious, but could have been much more life altering. I have to remind myself of how much worse that day could have ended had it not been for the amazing work of the rescue team.
The journey to recovery has not been easy, and I face difficulties every day. Over the past three and a half years I have had three spinal operations. Today, I am finally in a position to raise money for this amazing charity.
This October, I will be spending 6 days walking along the Great Wall of China, in aid of Mourne Mountain Rescue. The Mourne Mountain Rescue Team provide a 24/7 rescue service. It is run by volunteers, for walkers in the Mourne Mountains. Each year it costs over £30,000 to run the service.
Every penny raised will be donated straight to running this valuable service. As a result of the injuries I sustained that day, this trek will be extremely physically demanding on my back. Regardless of how difficult the last three years have been, I am extremely fortunate that I am able to carry out such a worthwhile fundraiser thanks to the MMRT.
This charity means a lot to me and all donations would be greatly appreciated.
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Maeve's Walking the Great Wall of China
Fundraising for Mourne Mountain Rescue Team
We raise funds to improve casualty care & training levels
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