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Rescuer Who Fell 500ft Helping Lockdown-Breaching Campers Likely Left Wheelchair Bound

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Rescuer Who Fell 500ft Helping Lockdown-Breaching Campers Likely Left Wheelchair Bound

A volunteer mountain rescuer has been left paralysed after he sustained horrific injuries trying to help two campers who were breaching coronavirus rules.

Chris Lewis, 60, and his fellow volunteers were called out to a spot in the Lake District on 6 February after one of the two campers, who broke lockdown rules by traveling hundreds of miles, began to experience chest pains and called 999.

Credit: PA
Credit: PA

But things went disastrously wrong and as Chris, from Patterdale Mountain Rescue, headed to help the men he plunged 500ft down a ravine.

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He was rushed to hospital where he was found to have numerous facial fractures as well as damage to his spinal cord.

Two weeks on, Chris is still in intensive care and is now facing the prospect of spending the rest of his life in a wheelchair, the Sun reports.

All four of Chris's limbs are currently paralysed, but medics say they are hopeful he may get some feeling back in his arms.

 Credit: LDSMRA
Credit: LDSMRA
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A crowdfunder has been launched to try and raise £500,000 ($690,000) to support Chris following the life-changing incident - with almost £170,000 ($236,000) raised at the time of writing.

Patterdale Team Leader Mike Rippon told the Sun it's likely Chris will need around the clock care for the rest of his life.

He said: "Chris was an extremely fit and healthy man with the rest of his life to look forward to.

"But the injuries he's suffered will change his life completely, he's likely to have full paralysis but may recover a bit of movement in his arms, that's probably the best we can hope for.

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"This was a proper life changing incident that will leave Chris needing 24-hour care which is just tragic.

"Mentally he's fully there and he's positive and he's passing on his best wishes to the rest of the team, which is humbling and also devastating for us.

"As the team leader I'm trying to pick people up and rally everyone, but psychologically it's had a big effect, I imagine we'll lose members as a result."

Another colleague, Mike Blakey, told the publication: "I've seen some things in my time but you never expect to have to rescue one of your own.

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"He's having conversations with me already about where we are going to go in the wheelchair."

Credit: PA
Credit: PA

Rippon went on to urge anyone who was planning on taking a trip to the Lake District to ditch the idea.

He added: "If you're thinking of heading for the Lakes this weekend, don't. The messaging is clear, people should be exercising within 2-3 miles of their home.

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"We now have a colleague and friend in a quite terrible situation because he voluntarily took part in a rescue that should never have been necessary. People need to understand that they must stay at home."

The two men who had been camping were fined £200 for breaching lockdown restrictions.

You can donate to Chris's crowdfunder here.

Featured Image Credit: PA

Topics: UK News

Claire Reid
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