A courageous accident victim will attempt to climb Snowdon next week - in his wheelchair.
Rick Ransome, 41, will attempt to ascend 1,085 metres (3,560ft) to the jagged peak of Snowdon on Tuesday (May 9) in a specially adapted wheelchair in aid of Head Injured People (HIP) in Cheshire.
As well as raising vital funds for HIP in Cheshire, Rick is taking on the mountain challenge to highlight Action for Brain Injury Awareness Week (May 8-14).
Rick had an accident in 1998 and fell nine metres (30ft) from his flat window.
He sustained seven fractures to the skull, four blood clots on the brain and fractured his spine in two places.
He was put into an induced coma and was given 12 hours to live – but on May 9 he will be on top of a mountain.
Rick said: “Climbing a mountain is not something I ever thought I’d be able to do in a wheelchair and did not think possible when I told Clare from HIP I wanted to do Snowdon - it’s going to be tough but I’m training in the gym at least three times a week. We’re doing this challenge for an incredible cause and to change the public’s perception of people with brain injuries.”
HIP in Cheshire is a charity that aims to reduce loneliness, isolation and improve the quality of life for people, including their family and friends, trying to cope after a serious brain injury.
Rick will be joined on the climb by fellow brain injury sufferers Ian Skaiffe (brain abscess), Ivan Thompson (fell off a ladder at work and had a midline shift) and John Stanger (serious RTA).
All four of them are members of HIP in Cheshire and benefit from the charity’s hard work.
Charity fundraiser and coordinator for HIP in Cheshire Clare Emerton said: “This is the biggest fundraising challenge we’ve ever done - and the most nerve-wracking - but we’ve got plenty of amazing support.”
Mike Harper from Harbrook Engineering has prepared Rick’s wheelchair for the challenging terrain.
Dave Pickles from Edge Travel Worldwide is leading the adventure and Dianne Yates from Birchall Blackburn Law has sponsored the support team – and will be part of the climbing team.
Students from the Motivational Preparation College for Training (MPCT), Wales, will also be on hand to help Rick’s team make it to the top of the rugged Welsh peak.
Clare added: “We still need plenty of sponsorship and we’re looking for any companies, businesses or groups able to sponsor some spare wheels for Rick’s wheelchair. Please get in touch if you can help because the mountain terrain is unforgiving and we might need a change of tyres!”
Led by Dave Pickles, Rick and the team have already taken the special wheelchair for a successful test run on the sandstone paths, crags and rocks of Bickerton Hills in mid-Cheshire.
Dave said: “This is a unique challenge for HIP in Cheshire that is bringing people together who believe in compassion for others and that anything is possible in spite of personal physical challenges resulting from brain injury. Rick is determined and has a dream of getting to the top of Snowdon and I’m 100% sure that we’ll achieve the aim in a safe, fun and emotionally charged way.”
Dianne Yates of Birchall Blackburn Law said: “I’ve seen them training and the buzz, strength of character and camaraderie of the team is fantastic. It will be hard going to the top of the Welsh giant but to actually be there when they reach the peak will be brilliant – and emotional. We can’t wait to get going for such a vital charity and cause.”
You can sponsor Rick and the team by donating to their fundraising page https://mydonate.bt.com/events/snowdonchallengeforhip/437494.