The gloves are on as quadru­ple am­putee Corinne fights to the top of Kil­i­man­jaro

Mum who lost hands and feet will climb moun­tain for char­ity

The Sunday Post (Newcastle) - - NEWS - By Bill Gibb BgiBB@sundaypost.com

Quadru­pleam­putee Corinne Hut­ton is weeks away from launch­ing one of the fights of her life to climb Mount Kil­i­man­jaro. And Corinne, 48, who lost both her feet and hands af­ter con­tract­ing sep­sis, is so de­ter­mined to scale Africa’s high­est peak that she says she’ll crawl up on her hands and knees if nec­es­sary. The Renfrewshire mum-of-one is even pack­ing box­ing gloves to pro­tect the stumps of her hands. In­cred­i­bly, she will at­tempt to scale the 19,341ft moun­tain with­out hands, feet and with only one lung, hav­ing lost the other to in­fec­tion. “This has al­ways been on my bucket list, even be­fore I lost my hands and feet,” Corinne told The Sun­day Post. “And there is some­thing in my men­tal­ity that wants to push my­self to do some­thing I didn’t think I could do. “Sub­con­sciously I must feel the need to prove a point. I need to show other peo­ple I can do more than they think I can.”

This has been on my bucket list, even be­fore my am­pu­ta­tions

Corinne, from Lochwin­noch, spent three weeks in a coma in the sum­mer of 2013 and was given just a 5% chance of sur­vival af­ter de­vel­op­ing pneu­mo­nia and sep­ti­caemia. Sur­geons had no op­tion but to am­pu­tate and she sub­se­quently lost two thirds of her right lung af­ter be­ing struck down by an Aspergillus in­fec­tion. She founded the char­ity Find­ing Your Feet to help other am­putees and it was the thought of oth­ers go­ing on the fundrais­ing Kil­i­man­jaro ex­pe­di­tion with­out her that proved too much of a temp­ta­tion. “They are all able bod­ied, but when peo­ple started sign­ing up I felt like I was miss­ing out,” ad­mit­ted Corinne, who is still on the donor list and hopes to be Scot­land’s first dou­ble hand trans­plant pa­tient. “I started to think that it would be bet­ter to give it a try and fail than not to try at all. While I’d at least know I’d given it my best shot, I would be ab­so­lutely gut­ted not to make it. But I know I won’t quit un­less I ab­so­lutely have to.” It’s to en­sure she gives it ev­ery last ounce of ef­fort that Corinne, who has a 10-year-old son Rory, has got the box­ing gloves. They have been re­in­forced with the bul­let­proof fab­ric Kevlar to give ad­di­tional pro­tec­tion against dam­age from rocks. She will only have to use them if she can no longer man­age to climb on her ar­ti­fi­cial legs and has to take them off. She’ll have ski pole-like crutches se­cured to her fore­arms, but it’s pain caused by chaf­ing of her legs that is caus­ing par­tic­u­lar con­cern. While Corinne has been work­ing on her strength and stamina in the gym to try and build up for the at­tempt, train­ing climbs on Scot­tish moun­tains have al­ready taken a heavy toll. “It’s a dou­ble-edged sword be­cause if I do too much and get sores then it stops me do­ing more. When I did Ben Ne­vis I had to sit with my legs up for two days af­ter that be­cause they were so sore. I can push my­self through the pain bar­rier and get through a day but with this I need to get back up and do it day af­ter day. “That’s the big test. I am quite guilty of not think­ing and just forc­ing my­self on un­til it’s too late. But I’m go­ing to be checked ev­ery hour as to how bad my legs are and we’re tak­ing lots of pad­ding for my stumps as well as plenty painkillers.” The al­ti­tude is another ma­jor worry but Corinne in­sists that, de­spite hav­ing most of one lung re­moved, she should have as much chance of cop­ing with al­ti­tude sick­ness as well as any­one else. “I have spo­ken to my lung sur­geons and they’ve said there is no rea­son why I shouldn’t do this,” said Corinne. “They have given me ad­vice about physio and be­ing in as good con­di­tion as pos­si­ble be­fore I went through do­ing car­dio ex­er­cise. I swim ev­ery week and work hard on my breath­ing. “I be­lieve I’ll han­dle what­ever gets thrown my way but friends and fam­ily are con­cerned. All my friends have dis­cour­aged me from do­ing this, al­most to the point of falling out over it. They just don’t want me to do it. I know that’s a nat­u­ral con­cern, but they know what I’m like. “My mother wor­ried her­self sick when I did a triathlon last year and she’s al­ready had sleep­less nights about this. But if I only did what she wanted me to do I wouldn’t be alive in­side. If I couldn’t chal­lenge my­self then I wouldn’t be liv­ing.” The 11-strong Find­ing Your Feet party leave on Septem­ber 29, will ac­cli­ma­tise and then be­gin the as­cent on Oc­to­ber 1. If suc­cess­ful, they will reach the sum­mit on Oc­to­ber 6. find­ingy­our­feet.net

Corinne Hut­ton will climb Africa’s high­est peak to raise money for the char­ity she founded, Find­ing Your Feet

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