The six children of a John O’Gaunt farmer who died after being airlifted to hospital have raised nearly £5,000 for the air ambulance to thank the charity for giving him two extra weeks of his life to spend with them.
Christopher Riley, who was 70, sustained a badly broken leg in a road collision in November 2017 and was flown to Queen’s Medical Centre in Nottingham.
He underwent several operations as surgeons tried to rebuild his leg but sadly died after developing a blood clot.
His daughters, Liz, Jenny and Jane, and sons, Martin, Richard and Thomas, were so grateful for what Derbyshire, Leicestershire and Rutland Air Ambulance did for their dad that they raised £4,855 for it by completing the gruelling Yorkshire Three Peaks Challange.
Liz said: ““We are all so grateful to the air ambulance for getting him to hospital so quickly because his injuries were very serious and he may have died then. “But we got two more precious weeks with him before he passed away and we wanted to do something to pay back the cost of the mission to rescue our dad as the air ambulance is a charity and receives no government funding.”
It was a challenge in itself to get the six siblings together for the fundraising effort because they have never spent time together without their spouses and children but they really enjoyed the chance to do so.
So they got out their diaries, agreed a date, put on their walking boots and covered the Yorkshire Three Peaks route, which goes on for 24 miles and includes 1,585 metres of ascent to reach the peaks of Pen-y-ghent, Whernside and Ingleborough, in under 12 hours.
Liz added: “We had conversations while we were walking that we would never have had if we were with everyone else and we really enjoyed each other’s company. “Doing the Challenge has definitely brought us all closer together again.”
The family are now considering doing an annual fundraising challenge in memory of their father and are already talking about taking on a sky dive next year.