Woundcare4Heroes


Specialist wound care to rebuild the lives of physically injured ex-service men and women

Yorkshire Three Peaks loaded march to help war veteran walk again

 
They’re the close friends of a Lancashire Army veteran who needs pioneering surgery to walk again.

And they braved ice underfoot and freezing fog on a military-style march across Yorkshire’s three highest peaks to raise funds for veterans’ charity, Woundcare4heroes and Michael Clough’s Walk Again Appeal.

Climbing the peaks - one after the other - over two days is challenge for most but even more so in wintery weather and when carrying a 17kg military backpack. But all 15 men completed the 25-mile ‘loaded march’ despite only one of the group – who are nearly all childhood friends of Michael - ever having served in the Army.

Wearing warm winter clothing and walking boots with non-slip ice-grips to prevent falls on the day, they climbed Pen-y-ghent, Whernside and Ingleborough, an ascent of 5,200 ft (1,585m). 

Nicholas ‘Mac’ McKenzie, a WO2, flew the Union Jack from his rucksack while others gave the thumbs-up as they reached the summits.
Yorkshire Three Peaks loaded march to help war veteran walk again
Yorkshire Three Peaks loaded march to help war veteran walk again
The men put in an awesome effort to raise about £6,500 for their friend and Woundcare4heroes.  After crossing the finishing line, they were met by Michael for a well-deserved pint at the Station Inn, Ribblehead.

Mac said: “The hardest part was definitely the top of each peak.  Wisely, we had all invested in non-slip ice grips which enabled us to climb over the icy/snowy ridges without too much danger.

“Because of the predicted conditions we hired two professional peak guides and even one of them managed to get slightly lost on Sunday due to foggy conditions on the peak.

“It was a great effort by everyone. Most of the group had never walked that distance on any kind of peak with the added weight of a 17 kg rucksack.”

He added: “I have only known Michael for a couple of years through his visits to Queen Elizabeth Hospital, Birmingham and Fisher House but he has a fantastic bunch of friends from his village.”

Speaking before the walk, Kirwin Daniel said: “Michael is my best friend. He’s got amazing spirit. Obviously the last few years have been a very difficult time for him, but he just seems to take everything in his stride. A lot of people would feel very sorry for themselves in his situation, but he is still as upbeat and positive as ever which is great.
 
“It is a credit to Michael that so many of his friends signed-up for the walk.”

A perfect rainbow arched over the peaks helped to lift spirits.

The Three Peaks loaded march is one of a number of events to raise £72,000 for the ex-soldier to go to Sydney for a bone-implanted prosthetic which is not available on the NHS.

The Yorkshire Regiment veteran, who served in Afghanistan, seriously fractured his left leg during parachute training in 2012. After three years of multiple surgeries, bone infection and chronic pain, it was decided to amputate.
Yorkshire Three Peaks loaded march to help war veteran walk again
Yorkshire Three Peaks loaded march to help war veteran walk again
Yorkshire Three Peaks loaded march to help war veteran walk again

Unfortunately, the ex-soldier is unable to wear a conventional prosthetic with a socket due to complications. His only hope of walking again is to have the procedure, known as osseointegration.

Woundcare4heroes has supported Michael with one-to-one clinical care and  is spearheading his Walk Again Appeal.

To donate and read more about Michael’s Walk Again Appeal see http://www.woundcare4heroes.org.uk/campaigns/michael-walk-again-appeal
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