‘Team Gaby’ honours girl’s memory with Three Peaks Challenge
A Cambridgeshire family have raised £12,000 for the Children’s Air Ambulance (TCAA) in memory of a 12 year old girl who tragically died in a horse riding accident in 2016.
Gabrielle Harbert was an exceptional rider, but when her horse stumbled after a jump, she was thrown over his head and the animal stood on her chest. The accident happened in Italy where Gabrielle lived with her family and she was airlifted to a local hospital, however her injuries were not survivable.
Nikki Morrison from Swavesey is a friend and colleague of Gabrielle’s mum Francesca and wanted to do something to honour the life of the girl she had got to know and see grow up via the daily Skype meetings they held as part of their jobs.
“I asked Francesca which charity she would like us to raise funds for in Gaby’s memory and she said that my son Jack, who was nine at the time, could choose. The Children’s Air Ambulance, with its connection to helicopters and young people, was so appropriate and he thought it was perfect,” she explains.
The Children’s Air Ambulance is a unique national service flying critically ill babies and children from one hospital to another for specialist care. It is the only dedicated neo-natal and paediatric helicopter emergency transfer and is based in Doncaster and Oxford.
The service works alongside 10 NHS transport teams nationwide to help fly neo-natal and paediatric patients as the helicopters provide a flying intensive care unit for children.
When a child is too sick to fly, TCAA can fly a specialist team to them. With flight times commonly around four times quicker than a transfer by road.
Nikki, her husband Dave, Francesca and five friends formed “Team Gaby” and completed the National Three Peaks Challenge which raised over £12,000 for the Children’s Air Ambulance.
Plans are now in place for the group to take on the Welsh 3000s Challenge in June 2020, which requires participants to have been at the top of all 15 of the mountains over 3,000 feet in Wales within the space of 24 hours, without using any form of transport.
“Unfortunately, I am unable to take part due to a foot injury, however I will be supporting from the side lines and doing everything I can to drive forward the fundraising campaign,” says Nikki.
As well as raising funds for TCAA, the Morrisons have done their bit to raise awareness of the charity with the under 10s football team Dave coaches having the logo on their shirts last season.
Nikki says: “Having visited the head office for the Children’s Air Ambulance in October 2018, we were blown away by the service delivered. It being fully funded by charitable donations makes what we did and continue to do so important to us all. “
“Meeting the extended team and finally meeting Irene Wayness, our main contact at TCAA and constant supporter, further instilled in us the importance of raising awareness and money to continue to support such an invaluable service to children and their families when they need it most. We will forever be supporters of the Children’s Air Ambulance and consider Irene and the team as friends”.