Air ambulance crew and other medical staff work to save Mr Wilkes-Green after his collapse. Photo: GNAAS

Air ambulance crew and other medical staff work to save Mr Wilkes-Green after his collapse. Photo: GNAAS

A walker who collapsed while on a charity fundraiser in the Lake District has thanked those who helped him.

The incident, in which Adrian Wilkes-Green’s heart stopped, will feature in a television series that follows the work of the Great North Air Ambulance.

Mr Wilkes-Green said he was ‘dead to the world’ after passing out and falling off a path overlooking Ullswater in July.

The 56-year-old Penrith man was taking part in the Macmillan Mighty Hike around the lake, a walk he had completed many times before.

He said: “It is a beautiful part of the world and we were really looking forward to it especially because it was a gorgeous day.

“We had reached a part of the hike where you have to walk single file due to the narrow pathway and my wife Amanda was in front of me. From this point, I have absolutely no recollection of the day.”

Mr Wilkes-Green had collapsed and fallen off the side of the path, vanishing from sight and landing in the undergrowth below.

Adrian Wilkes-Green and his wife Amanda

Adrian Wilkes-Green and his wife Amanda

Mr Wilkes-Green said: “My wife told me that we were just walking along and when she turned around, I had gone. She thought I was messing with her at first and hiding; she hadn’t realised that I had collapsed.”

Photos on Mr Wilkes-Green’s phone from 10 minutes before his fall are the only evidence to remind him of what happened that day.

Mr Wilkes-Green’s wife Amanda said: “A few of us pulled him out from the undergrowth and then a young man who was a paramedic ran over to help while everyone else tried to get signal. Luckily there were quite a few medical professionals there.”

Three weeks before the charity hike, Mr Wilkes-Green had completed the same route and recalls not a single soul being around.

He said: “It was bizarre how there was so many people there that day and I feel very lucky. If this had have happened the time before, I wouldn’t be here today.”

The Great North Air Ambulance Service helicopter based at Langwathby airlifted Mr Wilkes-Green to the Cumberland Infirmary in Carlisle where he was put in a coma under heavy sedation.

He said: “It wasn’t until I came around that Amanda told me what had happened. The doctors said my heart just basically stopped. I was dead to the world.

“I was in hospital for three weeks because they found shadows on my lung and couldn’t fit my implantable cardioverter-defibrillator – a device that detects life-threatening heartbeat – until they knew for sure what it was.”

Mr Wilkes-Green is now back out walking although he easily becomes dizzy and breathless, so he is undergoing cardio-rehabilitation.

He said: “I would like to say a huge thank you to all the team at GNAAS. Thank you for the dedication, skill and professionalism you gave me when I needed it most.”

The episode of Emergency Helicopter Medics featuring his rescue is due to be screened on More4 at 9pm on Saturday.

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