The air ambulance crew treats the runner at the scene on Loadpot Hill. Photo: GNAAS

The air ambulance crew treats the runner at the scene on Loadpot Hill. Photo: GNAAS

An ultrarunner who was airlifted from a Lake District fell after suffering multiple seizures has vowed to raise cash for the air ambulance service that rescued her.

Nicky Ridley of Milnthorpe in Cumbria was taking part in the Lakes Mountain 42 event with her husband last year when she collapsed.

The 41-year-old said: “I remember setting off going up towards Loadpot and we’d overtaken the three people that actually stopped to help me.

“I don’t remember much after looking behind and seeing these three people.

“I remember waking up in hospital and people saying that I’d collapsed and I’d had lots of seizures.”

Mountain rescuers were called out to the incident in March 2019, but because of the isolated location above Howtown, the Great North Air Ambulance Service’s helicopter was scrambled.

Within nine minutes of taking off from the aircraft’s Langwathby base, the crew had landed near Loadpot Hill.

They assessed and treated Ms Ridley before airlifting her to the Cumberland Infirmary in Carlisle where she spent five days recovering.

She said: “I was diagnosed with epilepsy about 10 years ago. I’d been seizure-free about eight years, but we don’t know what’s triggered this one off.

“I was in a coma for about two days in hospital while tests were carried out and they needed to try and reset my brain.

“Nine weeks later I seizured again and spent two weeks in Lancaster but I’m slowly getting there.”

Nicky Ridley stands by the helicopter that came to her aid. Photo: GNAAS

Nicky Ridley stands by the helicopter that came to her aid. Photo: GNAAS

Since the running incident Ms Ridley has vowed to return to ultra-marathons and had planned taking part in a summer of major events, though at least some of them are now doubtful because of the coronavirus outbreak.

She said: “My running partner Laura and I had plans to run a 30-50 mile loop round the Lakes in April, then the Lakeland 50 in July, the London Marathon and Lakes in a Day in October.”

Ms Ridley paid tribute to the GNAAS team who helped her.

“I think what they did for me was amazing,” she said. “I think so many people just need to donate to things like this because it’s a wonderful charity.

“I’m fundraising to help provide anything that these guys need to provide care for people in situations that they need help in. Whether it’s equipment or money towards a new helicopter.

“Whatever they need because I think these guys deserve it because they are such amazing people.”

Donations to the charity can be made via the Great North Air Ambulance Service website.

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