As he held his new daughter in his arms, looking down into her beautiful face, Paul Wright, who together with his wife Sally, own InXpress Preston, couldn’t have been happier. However, the joy soon turned to fear when Sally noticed Emily was turning blue, and she was taken away to receive oxygen. As Paul left the hospital filled with the wonder of the arrival of his daughter, a call two hours later turned his whole world upside down. Emily had a heart defect, and would need to be transferred to Alder Hey Hospital for surgery. Fearing the worst, when she was just 3 hours old, the Hospital offered to christen her.
Alder Hey is a world-renowned, child-friendly hospital caring for around 275,000 young patients and their families every year. The Alder Hey Children’s Charity, which Paul and Emily are supporting, raises vital funds for a range of life-saving medical equipment and facilities making an important life-changing difference to lives like Emily’s every day. It was here the new-born Emily underwent eight hours of open heart surgery to save her life.
Fast forward twenty-one years, and Emily is a fit and healthy personal trainer who is currently whipping her dad into shape as they prepare to combat their latest challenge together. “Emily and I are eternally grateful to Alder Hey Hospital for the way she was treated and looked after at such a critical time. She is our little miracle.” Paul continues, “We wanted to find a way to give back to them, words just never seem enough. This year, Emily turns 21, and I turn 50, so taking on the challenge of climbing Mount Kilimanjaro seemed fitting.”
Mount Kilimanjaro, the highest mountain in Africa, is a dormant volcano in Tanzania standing at around 4,900 metres (16,100 ft) from base to 5,895 metres (19,341 ft) above sea level. And since 1889, many have attempted to reach the top in order to conquer its harsh conditions, and challenging snow and icy terrain. Paul and Emily will be joining the elite ranks of those who will climb Kilimanjaro within their eight day challenge, “We will literally be climbing and hiking for eight-or-nine hours each day, until the final day when we will be out for about seventeen hours making our final ascent and the descent.” Paul explains. “I enjoy hiking, and last climbed Snowdon and Skafell. But Mount Kilimanjaro is the next level!”
The InXpress father:daughter team are already preparing for their challenge, “Emily is a personal trainer, and is pushing me. A lot. I think I must have upset her at some point – she is brutal. But I know it’s what we need, if we are to reach our peak physical condition to conquer Kilimanjaro – it’s a brutal mountain!” Paul says. “I have also been taking Emily out hiking. She isn’t a big hiker, so it was interesting to see how she responded. We have a way to go before October, but I am confident we will both be in the best possible shape ready for our challenge.”
#InXpressGivesBack is the initiative at the heart of InXpress, which encourages its franchisee network to find ways to give back to the community. To find out more about franchise opportunities, please email: firstname.lastname@example.org
To help Paul and Emily reach their target, visit: www.justgiving.com/fundraising/teamwrift
Or donate via text: TEXT KMJO50 £5 to 70070 (or swap £5 to 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 or 10)