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Siblings scale three peaks for air ambulance that flew Dad

Getting six adult siblings together in the same place at the same time has always been a challenge for the Riley family.

But when their father Christopher (70), a farmer from John O’ Gaunt near Twyford, Leicestershire, died unexpectedly in hospital, after an operation to rebuild his badly broken leg, they were determined to do something to honour his memory.

So they got out their diaries, agreed a date, put on their walking boots and completed the Yorkshire Three Peaks Challenge which raised £4,855 for our Derbyshire, Leicestershire & Rutland Air Ambulance that flew their father to hospital after he was injured in a road traffic collision in November 2017.

“Our dad had been in hospital for two weeks when he died unexpectedly of a blood clot. He had undergone several operations on his leg after being airlifted to the Queen’s Medical Centre in Nottingham.”

“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,” explains Liz.

The Yorkshire Three Peaks route is 24 miles (38.6km), and includes 1585m (5200ft) of ascent to reach the peaks of Pen-y-ghent, Whernside and Ingleborough in under 12 hours.

Liz, her two sisters and three brothers – Martin Riley, Jenny Chapman, Richard Riley, Thomas Riley and Jane Riley – have never spent time together without their spouses and children and really enjoyed the chance to do so.

“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,” she says.

The family are now looking at the possibility of an annual fundraising challenge in memory of their father – and are already talking about a sky dive in 2020!

Every mission costs approximately £1,700 and on average we attend six rescue missions a day.

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