Castlewellan family hike to support Air Ambulance

Castlewellan family hike to support Air Ambulance

20 May 2020

A CASTLEWELLAN man whose son was seriously injured in a farm accident is taking on the Three Peaks Challenge to raise money for the Air Ambulance.

Three Peaks Challenge will see both amateur and well seasoned hikers take on one or three of the most popular mountains in Northern Ireland, including Slieve Donard, over the last three Saturdays in September.

John McMullan’s son, Connor, was 11 when he needed urgent medical attention after he was struck by a tractor and trailer on the family farm in 2017. 

His accident was the very first deployment for the Air Ambulance when he was treated for a serious head injury that he sustained.

Connor made a full recovery thanks to the consultant and a paramedic who were able to administer lifesaving interventions to stabilise him.

John, Connor and the rest of their family will be taking part in the challenge. 

John, said: “Since Conor’s accident in 2017, we have been huge supporters of Air Ambulance NI and have wanted to get more involved with the charity.  

“The Three Peaks Challenge is right up our street. Air Ambulance NI is a service we certainly never thought we would ever need but we will always be very grateful to the team who attended to Conor.  

“We are encouraging all our family, friends and the community to come along and get involved – it’ll be a challenge but a great day out.”

John added: “Please support this service and help ensure the HEMS is available for other families in the future should they need it.” 

The challenge is taking place during the national Air Ambulance Month.

Air Ambulance NI are asking people to register at to climb Slemish in Co Antrim on September 12, Cuilcagh in Co Fermanagh on September 19 and Slieve Donard on September 26.  

Kerry Anderson, Air Ambulance NI head of fundraising, said: “For the first time, a virtual challenge has been created for walkers to complete from the comfort of their own home. You can choose which of the three peaks you would like to virtually complete by climbing the equivalent number of flights of stairs.

“Why not ask your workmates, friends or family to sign up and take on the challenge? HEMS has been tasked 1,393 times to serious and life-threatening situations throughout the province and relies on donations to continue operating.”

The charity requires £5,500 every day to sustain operations. Last year’s Three Peaks Challenge raised nearly £15,000, which was enough to keep the team flying for almost three days.