BY LINDA FOO GUEST
A WIRRAL gran climbed the heights of Kilimanjaro to help her grandson after he was born with heart complications.
Lily Clough trekked to the summit of Kilimanjaro to raise money for the Children's Heart Association. The 58-year-old’s grandson, Noah Collins, was born with holes in his heart.
Lily, who lives in Upton, said: “I am very pleased that I reached Uhuru Peak, highest point in Africa at 5,895m above sea level.
“We walked between five to 10 hours each day. Temperatures ranged from 30°C at the bottom of the mountain to -15°C at the summit and we encountered all types of weather – hot sunshine, rain, wind, hail and snow.
“I was there for two weeks but spent a week trekking and camping. I was with a group of 18 people from across the UK, Italy and Australia. No one knew each other but we got on really well. Everyone was so supportive and looked after each other.
“Guides from The African Walking Company looked after us and I can’t praise them enough, they were brilliant. They were incredibly informative and very supportive.
“On summit night they sang us to the top, and it was fantastic when we all reached it.
“I was very lucky with the altitude, I was just a little breathless and tired. Although we did a lot of walking so that was understandable.
“Some people were quite badly affected, suffering headaches and severe nausea. We saw a lot of people from other groups being brought down the mountain.
“It was a challenge and tough at times, especially as I'm not good with heights and had to cross a shear ledge, the Barranco Wall. That was my biggest fear. After that I knew I could do it if the altitude didn’t get to me.
“The whole trip was tremendous.”
In December, Lily walked 50km, or 31 miles, on a treadmill at an Upton gym for the charity.
So far she has raised several hundred pounds for the charity with money still being take to reach her goal of a £1,000.
Lily added: I paid for the Kilimanjaro trip myself, so all the money raised goes to the charity.
“Noah was a very frail baby and born with holes in his heart. He was very poorly and was in intensive care, and underwent open-heart surgery at five months old in Alder Hey.
“He is now a lively, thriving three-year-old – although he still requires daily medication and regular checks both at Alder Hey and Arrowe Park.
“He says ‘My heart used to be broken but now it has been fixed’.
“The Children's Heart Association gives tremendous support to families with ‘heart children’, and equipment to specialist children's heart centres such as Alder Hey Hospital.”
To donate, visit Lily’s online fundraising page at www.virginmoneygiving. com/lilyclough – for more information on the charity, visit www.heartchild.info