FACE FEARS AND SAVE LIVES URGES AIR AMBULANCE PATIENT
A Coventry University professor is urging local people to “face your fears and help save lives” by signing up for a charity abseil down the walls of the city’s iconic cathedral to raise funds to keep the local air ambulance flying.
Ralph Kenna (54) was treated by Warwickshire & Northamptonshire Air Ambulance in August 2017 when he suffered a cardiac arrest in the street near his home in Rugby.
He had been shopping as usual at the local supermarket when his heart suddenly stopped and he collapsed.
Ralph took part in the Rugby Half Marathon last October and raised over £2,000 for the local air ambulance as a thank you for saving his life.
He is now hoping to take part in the sponsored abseil event on Saturday 27th July.
“I have a fear of heights but my life experience so far has been to confront one’s fears. I’ll climb up and down the ladder a few times a day if I can and I’ll google ‘abseiling for scaredy cats’.
“Each mission undertaken by the local air ambulance costs £1,700 and they receive no government funding so rely totally on fundraising events and donations to remain operational.
“The least I can do is push myself out of my comfort zone and take part in the abseil – and I hope lots of other people will do the same and follow my example,” he says.
When Ralph had his cardiac arrest two passers-by at the scene gave him CPR and others rallied round to assist.
The air ambulance crew put him into an induced coma before he was transported to University Hospital Coventry by land ambulance.
Ralph was in a coma for four days and spent seven weeks in hospital. It was six months before he was well enough to return to work.
Ralph describes himself as “always having been very health conscious” and had taken part in half marathons before his cardiac arrest. Since being discharged from hospital he has been running regularly.
“What happened to me was completely random. I am an ordinary person, it was an ordinary day and I am very fit – so if it can happen to me it can happen to anyone,” he says.
The Coventry Cathedral abseil event is fully supervised and adheres to safety standards. To find out more or to sign up, please click here