Harrogate man saves woman in mountains

A fast-acting businessman has been hailed a hero for saving the life of a woman on a challenging charity trek.

Aaron McKenna, 24, from Harrogate, jumped to the aid of fellow walker Sarah Townsend when she was struck by extreme altitude sickness in Peru.

The pair were thousands of feet up on the Lares Trail to Machu Picchu when Sarah suddenly fell ill and needed oxygen.

Aaron, the commercial director of McKenna Consultants, Harrogate, took Sarah 1,000 metres down the climb with the help of three others.

He said: "It was on day two of the four-and-a-half day trail when Sarah started to get really ill and was being sick due to the lack of air – we knew then we had to get her down.

"The camp doctor later told me there was a high chance she wouldn't have woken up if she had slept another night at that altitude."

Aaron and Sarah, who also works in Harrogate, were among a group of 12 fundraisers who flew out to Peru in aid of disabled charity Scope.

Although it took Sarah a month to recover, she hasn't been put off from doing future treks.

She said: "I was so lucky to be with a group which included four incredible men that helped me.

"At the time I didn't really know what was going on.

"I have done walks in the past, including the Coast to Coast in the summer, but I was really affected by starting the climb already at such a high altitude.

"Despite what happened I was incredibly honoured to be taking part in the trek and would definitely do it again."

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