More than £200,000 has been raised in a day for a mountain rescue volunteer who suffered life-changing injuries when he was called out to help campers breaching lockdown rules.
Chris Lewis, 60, from the Patterdale Mountain Rescue Team, fell 150 metres down a steep slope while on a call-out to Red Screes above Kirkstone Pass in the Lake District in the early hours of February 6.
The team had been called out to help a 47-year-old man from Leicester who was camping with another man from Liverpool.
— patterdaleMRT (@patterdaleMRT) February 16, 2021
The casualty, who was taken to hospital with chest pains and quickly recovered, and his companion were fined for breaching Covid travel restrictions.
On Tuesday, a fundraising drive was launched to help Mr Lewis – who suffered multiple facial fractures and damaged his spinal cord – with recovery, rehabilitation and care.
The JustGiving page originally had a target of £100,000, but by 5.30pm more than £200,000 had been raised.
Fundraisers have now set a new target of £500,000 for Mr Lewis, who remains in hospital.
Speaking on BBC Breakfast, chairman of the Lake District Search and Mountain Rescue Association Richard Warren said: “I’ve been in mountain rescue for a very long time and this is the worst accident I have seen in the last four decades, it really is hitting people hard.
“But the support is fantastic and we want to pass our thanks to everybody who has sent messages of support.”
He described Mr Lewis as a “fantastic guy” and said after he was airlifted to accident and emergency the first thing he asked was how the other casualty was.
A statement on the JustGiving page said: “Chris is one of 40 volunteers in Patterdale Mountain Rescue Team, from all walks of life and a wide range of ages.
“The team typically responds to approximately 70 incidents a year, usually, but not always, with less tragic consequences.
“The severity of Chris’s injuries cannot be overstated and he will need significant support for the rest of his life.”