Haggerston man who broke almost every bone in mountain fall is cycling to Paris to support charity that saved his life
PUBLISHED: 14:37 28 March 2019 | UPDATED: 10:48 29 March 2019
A man who fell 200 metres off a mountain and suffered life-threatening injuries is cycling to Paris to raise money for the volunteer organisation that saved him.
Joe Gilbert was walking in the Lake District with a few mates in March 2016 when he lost his footing and fell the length of two football pitches, breaking almost every bone in his body.
Luckily a volunteer from the Patterdale Mountain Rescue Team witnessed the fall while conducting a course at the bottom of the Helvellyn mountain and came to his rescue.
Joe told the Gazette: “It took two helicopters, 19 Patterdale volunteers and countless hours of medical and practical experience to save my life.
“Without them I simply wouldn’t be here.”
To get to his location on the side of the mountain required one of the Navy’s Sea King helicopters and due to its size they had to land on the street near Newcastle hospital.
Joe, a hospitality area manager from Haggerston, said after two years and multiple surgeries he started to get back to his old self.
Before his accident he was a dedicated runner and completed the New York Marathon in 2010, so was anxious to get back on his feet.
Nine months ago he started cycling and now he and his team – The Helvellyn Flyers – plan on cycling the 270km across the Channel on Saturday May 11 to raise money and awareness for the Patterdale Mountain Rescue Team, which is made up entirely of volunteers.
Joe said: “Without donations, the Patterdale MRT would not exist and neither would I so in May I will be cycling to Paris with Simon, Geoff and Ben who were with me that day plus Matt and Olly who fancied a week off work.”
Joe’s fundraising has exceeded the £2,500 goal he set but he’s hoping that others will be inspired to give more.
The team is setting off from All Press Espresso in Dalston, which is supporting their fundraiser.
Jay Chapman, of All Press, said: “We have admired Joe’s resilience during his sometimes uncomfortable recovery.
“We’re all familiar with his story and how integral the mountain rescue crew were to his survival that day so it made sense to support Joe in any way that we could.”
Check out the fundraiser here.