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Preston paraglider to run half marathon after miraculously surviving 80ft fall in the Lake District

Posted on - 29th January, 2016 - 7:00pm | Author - | Posted in - Charities, News, People
The air ambulance team working to save Dave, he and his fiancee Karin and Dave pictured paragliding

The air ambulance team working to save Dave, he and his fiancee Karin and Dave pictured paragliding

A Preston man who nearly died while paragliding in the Lake District has paid tribute to his rescuers.

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The Great North Air Ambulance came to Dave Tighe’s aid when he fell more than 80ft at Tarn Crag in Great Langdale.

The incident in May last year left the 42-year-old with a broken spine and multiple life-threatening injuries.

He’s now back on his feet and preparing to run the Wrexham Half Marathon to raise cash for the air ambulance team and members of Langdale Ambleside Mountain Rescue who helped save him.

Dave, from Hutton, said: “The incident occurred during a speedwing-paraglider launch. The wing collapsed shortly after take-off and I impacted heavily at the top of a cliff edge before tumbling unsupported 80ft down the rock face wrapped in equipment.

“I feel very lucky and so glad to be alive. I was rescued from a difficult location well over 1000ft up the mountain. Dozens of rescuers mobilised to the location and scaled to the scene with admirable skill and fitness.

“Two of these agencies rely entirely on donations for their funding, hence the reason for my up and coming pain.”

He will be running the half-marathon alongside his wife-to-be Karin Delday.

Karin and Dave are to marry in May

Karin and Dave are to marry in May

Dave said: “Karin, as always, will be alongside me the whole time, as she has been throughout this recent rollercoaster.

“Running is the hardest and probably the most painful thing that I can currently do to myself, I haven’t done anything more than jog a few miles in the last 15 years and that was when I was well.

“Although still in daily discomfort and over 3cm shorter, I’m moving ahead and looking forward to the future. Running is problematic. That’s the mechanics, five spinal vertebrae held together with many screws and scaffold isn’t a body addition that supports flexibility or shock absorption. Long term running will not be the choice of activity for me but for now I want to do it because I can.

“I will complete this half marathon in less than three weeks’ time, even if it ends with a crawl.”

Grahame Pickering, chief executive at GNAAS said: “We are thrilled at Mr Tighe’s fundraising efforts and inspired by his story. His rescue involved many different agencies, each with their own skillset, to provide the best outcome for the patient.

“We want to wish him the best of luck for his run and thank him for his support.”

Chief executive of the air ambulance, Grahaeme Pickering, said: “We are thrilled at Mr Tighe’s fundraising efforts and inspired by his story. His rescue involved many different agencies, each with their own skillset,

“We want to wish him the best of luck for his run and thank him for his support.”

More than £1,400 has been raised so far by Dave and you can donate online via his Sponsorme page.

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