Great Britain

British Mountaineering Council's call: push fundraiser for lifesaver to £1 million summit

The community is being asked to continue supporting a mountain rescue volunteer who was seriously injured on a callout – his team are now asking the public to push the fundraiser to £1 million.

Chris Lewis, a lifesaving volunteer from Patterdale Mountain Rescue, was seriously injured earlier this month when rescuing a tourist who had become ill when wild camping.

He plunged 150 metres and sustained an injury to his spine that will see him in need of support for the rest of his life.

A Just Giving fundraiser set up by the Lake District Search and Mountain Rescue Association has raised £815,233 at the time of The Cumberland News going to press.

The LDSAMRA and British Mountain Council want to push the figure over the £1 million mark. Mike Blakey a mountain rescue volunteer who was present when Chris was injured said: “The incident was preventable; the two men who travelled up from separate cities were breaking guidelines and should not have been there.

“However, this accident could have happened during any rescue operation and every member of the team knows and accepts the risks that come from being in the hills.”

Mike added: “Unfortunately Chris slipped and fell where the consequences were dire and he sustained fractures to his vertebrae and face, and damage to his spinal cord.”

His fundraiser has already seen massive support which Patterdale Mountain Rescue has said will be a comfort to the family during a difficult time.

Paul Davies, BMC interim CEO said: “Without Mountain Rescue, the outdoor community would greatly suffer. The BMC fully supports the Chris Lewis fundraiser and calls on everyone to come together with a small token of appreciation to help push the total over that £1 million summit.”

One donation from Ray Haldane carried the message: “Thank you for your dedication and professionalism.”

Martin O’Halloran said: “A tragic accident, best wishes to you and your family.”

“Mountain rescue teams do an amazing job.”

David Whittaker launched his own fundraiser in support of the charity, generating over £2,600. He said: “I was shocked when I heard about Chris’ accident having seen the rescue service in action.

“Because I live in South Lakeland and walk the fells with my family and friends, this is my way of helping.”

Reaching the £1 million mark will facilitate any changes that need to be made to Chris’ home - as he will struggle with mobility for the rest of his life. It is expected that he will be wheelchair bound for the rest of his life.

To donate and help push the fundraiser to £1 million, visit https://www.justgiving.com/campaign/Chris-Lewis-Support-Fund-LDSAMRA-Patterdale-MRT

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