Our trekkers have now arrived back home after their epic hike across Mont Blanc. Incredibly, the group have raised £24,000 (and rising) through sponsorship and donations for our Charity. Thank you to the trekkers that took up the challenge, and to everyone that supported them during the trek – the group were still receiving donations whilst on the trek and this gave them tremendous encouragement to continue.
The trek was definitely a challenging one, with steep inclines as well as rocky paths and sandy terrain to negotiate. Beautiful warm sunny days graced the mountains and lifted our trekker’s spirits. New, life-long friendships were made along the way, with some trekkers keen to sign up for next year’s challenge before they had finished this one!
See how much fun they had in our image gallery below.
Thank you for supporting us. We can’t fly without you!
Meet the trekkers
On 5th July 2017 my dad had a sudden brain haemorrhage. Essex & Herts Air Ambulance did all they could to save him by getting him to a specialist hospital in Oxford. Most people that have a similar haemorrhage to his don’t even make it to the hospital, so they gave him the best chances possible. Without them I wouldn’t have been able to see him, as I had been away studying in Australia for 4 months, and our family wouldn’t have had the chance to say goodbye. I will be forever grateful to them for this.
I want to raise some money for them so they can carry on providing this amazing service to others. It costs on average £2,500 for each mission, so it’s not cheap, but what they do is priceless for the person in need and their families. We have already raised an amazing £1,000 at my dad’s funeral, but I thought it would be even better if I could cover the rest and more as I’m so very grateful for what they’ve done and continue to do for others.
12th June 2015 is a date that has changed my life in so many ways and one that I will never forget. I was involved in a Road Traffic Accident riding my motorcycle to work. For me, the air ambulance really was the difference between life and death. Had it not of been for them attending the scene, I know for a fact that I would not be here now. My wife, Sally, would have been left a widow and my three kids would have been left without their dad.
I was placed into an induced coma and given an RSI, which is where they put in a breathing tube that’s then connected to a ventilator. I was also given a chest drain into my lung due to this being collapsed and me bleeding internally. Amazingly, not a single cut or graze to me on the outside.
I was a ‘Code Red Trauma Call’ to The Royal London Hospital in Whitechapel, which meant I was rushed into CT scans and then to theatre for surgery. My injuries were extensive and my prognosis initially very poor. I had a broken right femur, shattered right elbow, broken right forearm, six broken ribs, fractures to multiple vertebrate, punctured right lung, lacerations to my kidneys, pancreas and liver, contusion to my spleen and a type A aortic dissection (the main artery that supplies the vital organs). Because of this I then sustained a right MCA infract and a right ACA infract – which is effectively two strokes.
This is going to be a tough challenge for me because of the disability I now have from the stroke. I have left side weakness – the best way for me to describe this is it’s like having a weight on your wrist and ankle on one side. This affects my walking which is now slow and I rely on an ankle foot ortosis to be able to walk with because of foot drop. I am also unable to use my left hand functionally. I will be walking on average 8 to 9 hours per day on uneven terrain but am determined to complete this.
Last year my brother and sister-in-law were in a Road Traffic Accident whilst on an organised motorbike ride. My brother shattered his lower left leg and suffered other minor injuries. However, my sister-in-law suffered multiple head injuries and so was tended to by the air ambulance and flown to Addenbrookes Hospital, where they operated in an effort to save her life. Unfortunately, she later passed away due to internal bleeding on the brain, which devastated the family. However the Air Ambulance attending the scene so quickly gave her a chance at survival. For that, this will always be my first choice of charity to support.
I completed the base2base challenge last year for EHAAT and I am always looking for ways to raise money. I was invited to do this Trek by Fay (Events Manager). My mum gave me the confidence and motivation to do it (she also paid the registration fee so I wouldn’t back out). Unfortunately last year, just one month after the loss of her daughter-in-law, my mum was diagnosed with stage four lung cancer. She fought a good fight for six months but devastatingly lost her battle on 29th December 2017. She is the reason I am here and I will do this for her.
Depart the UK on a flight to Geneva, Switzerland. Transfer to hotel in Chamonix.
Val Ferret to La Fouly
After breakfast take the transfer to the head of Val Ferret. Ascend along the back wall of the valley to highest point of the day, take in the breathtaking views – from waterfalls tumbling from crevassed glaciers to the long distant view to Courmayeur in Italy. Descend to the Swiss village of La Fouly for overnight.
Trek distance – approx. 21km
La Fouly to Champex
Follow the Swiss part of the Val Ferret to Champex, the trail will taking you through traditional Swiss villages and across open meadows where we’ll see local farmers tending to the land. Views from this part of the trek are outstanding. Eventually reach accommodation in the charming village of Champex, complete with its own lake.
Trek distance – approx. 20km
Champex to Col de la Forclaz
End the challenge with a tough trek! We ascend out of the Champex immediately and trek around the Fenetre d’Arpette. A very challenging day but an amazing end to the challenge. Descend to waiting vehicle at Col de la Forclaz and take the transfer back to Charmonix for a night of celebration.
Trek distance – approx. 25km
Following breakfast take the transfer to Geneva airport for flight back to the UK.
You will be charged £5, plus your standard network rate. 100% of your donation will go to Essex & Herts Air Ambulance (EHAAT). By texting, you agree that EHAAT may phone or text you to tell you about our work. If you would prefer not to hear from us again, text HELI NO to 70588.
Essex & Herts Air Ambulance Trust is a registered charity in England and Wales (1108989). Registered company in England and Wales (05397840). Registered address: Flight House, The Business Centre, Earls Colne Business Park, Earls Colne, Colchester CO6 2NS.