Rescuers at work with Tom after his fall from Jack's Rake

Rescuers at work with Tom after his fall from Jack's Rake

A boy who fell 200ft from a Lake District scrambling route returned to the area to thank his rescuers and hand over cash to them.

Tom Lister was 13 when he fell from Jack’s Rake on Pavey Ark last July, sparking a huge rescue operation.

Tom’s father said his son looked so badly injured after his fall that he thought he was dead.

But the teenager, from Buckinghamshire, is almost completely recovered from injuries he suffered in the 60m fall from the grade-one scrambling route.

Langdale Ambleside Mountain Rescue Team, the Great North Air Ambulance and a crew from RAF Boulmer in Northumberland all took part in the rescue.

At the time of his accident, Tom was raising money for a trip overseas, but after calling on the services of the two Cumbrian charities he decided to raise money for them instead. To date he has raised more than £4,000.

Tom suffered a fractured a skull when he fell while tackling the route as part of a group of fathers and sons.

Tom Lister is winched into the RAF Sea King

Tom Lister is winched into the RAF Sea King

On the morning of the incident they rose early and set off on the climb up to Stickle Tarn. After a brief rest at the tarn, they began their ascent of Jack’s Rake towards the summit.

But Guy Lister, Tom’s father, said it was not long before their adventure went drastically wrong.
“I was at the back of the group with one of the other dads when Tom fell past me,” he said.

“I got to him after three or four minutes and quite frankly, I thought he was dead.

“He was lying prostrate on some rocks about 30m from the cliff.

“As I cradled him, he came to after a short while. There was lots of blood and his face was smashed up.”

With no mobile signal, the group was able to raise the alarm by shouting down to some passing walkers.

The Langdale Ambleside team set off towards the ascent and GNAAS’ Pride of Cumbria aircraft took off from its base at Langwathby.

Tom meets one of his rescuers at the Great North Air Ambulance base

Tom meets one of his rescuers at the Great North Air Ambulance base

Half an hour after the accident, GNAAS flew overhead to locate where Tom had ended up, then landed nearby where aircrew paramedic Andy Dalton set off on foot towards the patient.

The aircraft then flew further down the mountainside to pick up LAMRT members to bring them closer to the scene.

When they reached Tom, Mr Dalton, who was described by Mr Lister as a ‘tower of strength and reassurance’, was able to begin treatment immediately.

LAMRT members also helped at the scene and requested the RAF Sea King attend when it became apparent Tom needed winching from the mountainside.

The treatment continued for another hour until the Sea King arrived. LAMRT members helped load Tom onto the stretcher and both he and Mr Lister were winched aboard the aircraft and flown to the Royal Victoria Infirmary in Newcastle upon Tyne.

Tom was placed in intensive care but after only 10 days was able to be discharged.

He has recovered fully and is now back to health, although he still has some slight problems with his hearing and has one small scar on his forehead; he was able to return to school in September.

He said: “I’m hugely thankful for the help and support I received from the mountain rescue, air ambulance and RAF Sea King teams without whom I would not be here today.

Pavey Ark, scene of the rescue

Pavey Ark, scene of the rescue

“I feel very lucky to be back in the Lake District to thank everyone.”

Mr Dalton said: “Tom had taken a very bad fall and had sustained significant injuries, but he remained calm throughout what must have been a very frightening experience. After what he went through, to see Tom doing so well was just brilliant.”

Nick Owen, team leader of LAMRT, said: “It’s been great to see Tom again. We’re very grateful for his magnificent fundraising effort, but the best news is that he’s mending so well.”

Susannah Cox, 37, of Lancaster, and 48-year-old Howard Gladwyn, of Menston, West Yorkshire both died after falls on Jack’s Rake in the month before Tom Lister’s accident.

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