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“I was dead to the world” – Lake District hike survivor thanks GNAAS

Credit Emergency Helicopter Medics, More4.

A Penrith man who came close to death after collapsing on a charity fundraising walk will be featured on national television.

Emergency Helicopter Medics, which follows the work of the Great North Air Ambulance Service (GNAAS), this weekend focuses on the rescue of Adrian Wilkes-Green.

Adrian whilst taking part in the Macmillan Mighty Hike

Mr Wilkes-Green was taking part in a charity hike in the Lake District on 13 July 2019 – a hike he had competed many times before, when he collapsed suddenly.

The 56-year-old said: “I was doing the Macmillan Mighty Hike around Ullswater. 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.

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 that exists 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 was quite a few medical professionals there.”

Three weeks before the charity hike, Mr Wilkes-Green had completed the very 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.”

GNAAS medics intubated Adrian at the scene. Credit Emergency Helicopter Medics, More4.

GNAAS, from 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.”

Adrian with his wife Amanda

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.”

Emergency Helicopter Medics is at 9pm on Saturday on More4.

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