Leek United customer assistant to climb Everest after stroke recovery

Michael Lloyd

February 12, 2019

After recovering from a stroke Leek United customer assistant Jeanette Mountford will climb Everest, the world’s highest mountain to thank the hospital unit that saved her life.

She has spent the last three years fighting to regain her health, strength and fitness, following a sudden collapse at home in April 2016. And now she’s joining an expedition, climbing up to seven hours a day for almost two weeks in March, to reach Everest Base Camp, at an altitude of 5,364 metres.

All proceeds from Jeanette’s sponsored trek will be donated to the Acute Stroke Unit at the Royal Stoke University Hospital in Stoke-on-Trent, where she was treated.

Mountford said: “When I collapsed, my partner Warren recognised I was having a stroke and called 999.

“Without his quick-thinking and the expertise and dedication of the stroke unit, I wouldn’t be here today – so now I want to give something back to the unit and the hospital for saving my life on that awful night.

“It really has taken me all this time to get my fitness back to normal, but the expedition is going to test my mental and physical strength beyond ANYTHING I have ever done before!”

Mountford is already an experienced hiker/climber, having previously tackled Mount Snowdon on numerous occasions, Ben Nevis, Helvellyn, Scafell Pike and Mount Toubkal in North Africa.

In preparation for the trip, she’s been working with a personal trainer, hiking and using a treadmill donated to her by Stoke-on-Trent-based company Staffs Fitness for power walking and running training.

Once in Nepal, she and a team, including lifelong family friend Michael Evans, will trek for 12 days, with little chance of showering, staying in tea houses and living the Sherpa life en route to the base camp.

Mountford added: “What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger – I’m living proof of this, and I hope as many people as possible will help me give back to our wonderful NHS emergency units who save lives every single day.”

Steve Rushton, University Hospitals of North Midlands (UHNM) charity manager, said: “Jeanette is truly an inspirational lady; we are very proud of her at UHNM Charity and wish her well on her expedition.”

Dr Indira Natarajan, a consultant stroke physician on the Acute Stroke Unit, added: “On behalf of the entire Stroke Team, we are totally supportive of such a venture; we would like to personally thank Jeanette and wish her good luck.”

Mountford’s Just Giving Page can be found at :https://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/fundraiser-display/showROFundraiserPage?userUrl=JeanettePickup&pageUrl=2.

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