A daring duo has trekked thousands of feet above sea level, in the footsteps of an ancient civilisation, to raise funds for Sheffield Hospital charity.
Ian Hodson and Kevin Speight both completed the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu in Peru, as a thank you for help given to their loved ones by Sheffield-based heart specialists.
Charity bosses have revealed that, despite skydives and wing walks, football matches and bakeoffs, the pair’s £1,500 fundraising effort is amongst the most unusual they have benefited from - and hope it will inspire others to challenge themselves to find fresh ways to raise money to support their work.
Ian, aged 56, of Dronfield, was inspired to take on the challenge by his father-in-law, David Reader, who completed it ten years earlier. “David was diagnosed with a leaky heart valve last year, which needed treatment,” explained Ian.
“He had no symptoms, except for a chesty cough which he thought was an infection, so he was very shocked and upset.
“He had an operation for a new aortic heart valve and a triple bypass. During his time in hospital he was overwhelmed by the care and treatment he received by every single staff member. He wishes he could have praised and thanked them more at the time, but he was really pleased he could go back to the hospital and present the cheque for our fundraising.
“Kev and I have both had relatives who received treatment at the cardiothoracic department at the Northern General Hospital, so we knew we wanted to do something to show our thanks. It never hurts to test yourself and give something back to charity.”
Kevin’s mum, Lowell Speight, aged 91, had a pacemaker fitted at the Northern General.
Kevin, aged 50, of Chesterfield, said: “Mum has had to have a lot medical treatment over the years, and has always spoken highly of staff. She lives independently and is still very able, cooking for herself daily. I think it’s fair to say that this may not have been the case if it wasn’t for the treatment and care she received when in hospital.
“We completed the trail in four days and it was a tough trek. A lot of us had bad headaches due to the altitude. It was an amazing experience – tough on our legs and knees, but the scenery was incredible.”