A group of volunteers scaling Arthur’s Seat in full firefighters gear for a charity fundraising event got more than they bargained for when they were called in to a deal with a real-life rescue.
The group, complete with full firefighting kit, were forced to break off from their yomp when a tourist became suddenly unwell on Edinburgh’s most famous peak.
Volunteer Dean Ballantyne, from Stenhouse, explained: “There were five of us doing the walk to raise cash to help send my daughter Chloe abroad for treatment. We actually intended to walk up and down the hill three times and one of our group, combat paramedic Stephen Murray, was stationed halfway up the hill just in case there were any problems.
“We were coming down after the first time and we could see Stephen tending to a man. He was in a bad way, with his blood sugar really low and his blood pressure and heart rate sky high. We went back down to get a stretcher and to call in other emergency services and then we got back up, treated him there and managed to get him down safely.
“Thankfully the man’s family were able to help us out by carrying our breathing apparatus down behind us.”
“By that time the Park Ranger service and the ambulance were both there to assist us.”
He added: “The man’s name was Ian and he was up as a tourist from the Newcastle area. As far as I know he has made a full recovery after his illness.”
Dean and volunteers Davey Kay, Liam Dollan and Calum Kean and paramedic Stephen Murray were raising cash via the International Fire and Rescue Association (IFRA) for Dean’s daughter Chloe, who lives with a rare condition known as Septo-optic dysplasia.
The seven-year-old was born with an underdeveloped optic nerve that left her almost blind and with hormone deficiencies. In 2013, Dean and Chloe’s mum Kayleigh saved enough money to take the primary two pupil at Oaklands School to Thailand for stem cell treatment that improved her eyesight. Now the couple are continuing fundraising to take their daughter back for a second round of treatment they hope will take her one step closer to a life of independence.
Dean, from Stenhouse, told the Evening News: “Chloe is a happy girl. She’s very talkative, but it’s a bit of a guessing game.
“She builds us a picture of what she’s trying to say, but it can be frustrating for her. She’s very clever and creative and loves music. Her favourites are jazz, the blues and heavy metal.”
Chloe cannot walk unaided as her legs are weak, but with regular physiotherapy improvements are being seen. The family spent a month in Thailand at the Better Being Hospital while Chloe received physical therapy, hydrotherapy, acupuncture and stem cell treatment. They have raised approximately £10,000 of the £15,000 they need for a second visit after generous friends and family supported a football marathon last year.
Anyone wishing to contribute to the fund can do so here.