Trauma Nurse Consultant Stuart Wildman is edging ever closer to the challenge of a lifetime – climbing Africa’s highest mountain with Manchester Arena survivor Martin Hibbert.
In May, Stuart will join Martin and a close group of Martin’s friends to climb Mount Kilimanjaro, 5,895 metres above sea level.
And while this challenge is no mean feat for most people, Martin will be completing the journey in a specially adapted wheelchair.
Martin was paralysed after he was left with 22 pieces of shrapnel in his body following the terrorist attack at Manchester Arena in 2017.
He was cared for by Stuart and the major trauma team at Salford Royal and said he wanted Stuart by his side for what will be an emotional moment when they eventually reach the summit.
Speaking to BBC Breakfast, Martin said: “Being in a wheelchair I feel like I am climbing a mountain every day, so this is just another mountain to climb.
“It’s not until you need the care of the NHS that you really value it and see first-hand what these people do. They really care and they want you to get better.”
Stuart said it was an “honour and a privilege” to join Martin on the trip and said his selflessness and drive was inspirational.
“Just because someone has a life changing injury it doesn’t mean they can’t still live a life,” said Stuart.
“When Martin came into my care, he had 22 wounds that needed dressing and it would take us hours to do.
“When someone has had such a life changing injury it can be hard to empathise with them but doing little things like giving him a shave or letting his brothers come and watch a football match with a few beers went a long way. We just try to do anything we can to help that person feel valued and like a human again.”
Martin is raising money for the Spinal Injuries Association so more people can benefit from the care and rehabilitation he has had following his injuries.