Scaling the heights for Amanda’s heart mission

Amanda Bell's Three Peaks Challenge in aid of the Children's Heart Unit Fund.'She is pictured with Jamie Pattison (left) and Nick Logan (right).
Amanda Bell's Three Peaks Challenge in aid of the Children's Heart Unit Fund.'She is pictured with Jamie Pattison (left) and Nick Logan (right).
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MORPETH fund-raisers are feeling on top of the world after conquering the Three Peaks Challenge.

The Herald previously reported how 20-year-old heart surgery survivor Amanda Bell was planning a year of fund-raising activities to collect at least £5,000 for the Children’s Heart Unit Fund at Newcastle’s Freeman Hospital.

And first on the list was the Three Peaks, where climbers try to reach the summits of the three highest mountains in England, Scotland and Wales within 24 hours.

As it is just two years since Amanda underwent major surgery to fix a hole in her heart the size of a 10p piece she was banned from attempting the mammoth climb herself under doctors’ orders, but her pals Nick Logan and Jamie Pattison were happy to do it in her stead.

And now they can report that they did indeed conquer Snowdon, Scafell Pike and Ben Nevis with half an hour to spare.

Amanda, who acted as driver, said: “We completed it in 23-and-a-half hours so we had half an hour to spare. We were all really tired though and the boys slept in the car all the way back home.

“We left Morpeth at 12.30 in the morning to drive to Wales and they started their climb at 5.40am.

“They were still in quite high spirits when they came down from Snowdon and they got freshened up a bit, but when they went up Scafell it was boiling hot and they were getting burnt.

“That really took it out of them for the last one. They started Ben Nevis at about midnight so they did the whole of that in the dark and they didn’t finish it until about 5.10am so it was just in time.”

The boys took three-and-a-half hours to climb Snowdon, two hours 45 minutes for Scafell Pike and about five hours for Ben Nevis. Their efforts have so far raised about £650.

Amanda, of Alexandra Road, Middle Greens, said: “The money is all coming in now and lots of people are supporting us. It is going well and is getting quite exciting.”

Future plans for the fund include a charity dinner, football matches and a fund-raising birthday party for Amanda’s 21st in August, but she is also hoping to take part in some energetic challenges herself, starting with a 10km run, before seeing if doctors will allow her to attempt the Great North Run and a sky dive.

“I’m going to do a 10km run because the doctors thought the Great North Run would be too long for me and they didn’t want me pushing myself too much, but if the shorter one goes well I have still got a chance of doing the Great North Run in September, depending on how I feel,” she said.

“It feels brilliant to have started fundraising now. We have ticked off the Three Peaks and can now go on to other things.”

Nick and Jamie, who Amanda knows from her school days at King Edward VI School, will be involved in some of the other challenges, and may even attempt the Three Peaks again.

“We only had half an hour to spare this time so it will be nice to beat our time,” said Nick.

“We want to come up with lots of crazy ideas as well.”

Anyone wishing to donate to the fund-raising campaign can visit www.justgiving.com/AmandaBell2012 or text CHUF91, plus an amount, to 70070.