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Bladder infection ends record-breaking bid by paralympian and Richmond teammate
Illness forced a team of four men with just six working legs between them to cut short their attempt to snow-kite over seven Icelandic volcanoes.
The adventurers were four days into their world-first journey across Europe’s largest glacier when ex-winter Paralympian Sean Rose fell ill with a bladder infection, but they are determined to return and complete their mission.
Kieron Jansch, Max Smith, Mike Dann and Mr Rose set out across the Vatna glacier on Monday, April 8, after they raised £12,500 for spinal cord research.
But by Friday that week Mr Rose’s infection was so severe the team called emergency services, and a dramatic 10-hour rescue followed.
Mr Jansch, 42, from Richmond, said: “They wanted to send a helicopter but there was zero visibility, so they had to scrap that idea.
“They then sent two snowmobiles from a town in the East called Hofn, along with two Jeeps.
“One of the snowmobiles crashed along the way and the jeeps weren’t able to make it through the snow and had to turn back too.
“We were very despondent and worried. Another night in the snow for Sean would not have been ideal at all as he was very ill by this point and had an awful fever.”
The snow-kiters later received the news that some specially adapted “super-Jeeps”, complete with medical equipment, were on their way from Egilsstaoir, a town in the north.
Former RAF training instructor Mr Rose, who is a world champion water-skier and has competed in two Paralympic games, was safely moved to a hospital and is now in the UK, fully recovered from the infection.
The adventurers will attempt their journey again next year, and hope to raise a total of £25,000 for the Spinal Cord Research Foundation.
Mr Jansch said: “We had a lot of people rooting for us back at home, so while we were disappointed for ourselves, we were very upset that we’d let these people down.
“This setback has made us more determined. We have some unfinished business.” For more information, visit wingsforlife.com/en.
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