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Tuesday 15 June 2021
Salford News Header Montage
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Martin Hibbert
Martin Hibbert

Bomb survivor's nurse joins Kilimanjaro quest

A survivor of the Manchester Arena bomb attack is hoping to raise £1m by climbing Kilimanjaro - and he’ll be joined on the journey by some of the people who saved his life.


Martin Hibbert was in Manchester Arena when the bomb exploded and he suffered 22 shrapnel wounds, which left him paralysed from the waist down.


And now, with the help of a specially-adapted wheelchair, he aims to scale Mount Kilimanjaro and raise £1m for the Spinal Injuries Association.


Joining Martin on the expedition will be Major Trauma Consultant Nurse Stuart Wildman from Salford Royal, who looked after Martin in the months after the incident.


“This is totally out of character for me to do something like this,” said Stuart. “But what a great opportunity to be involved in something like this.


“I think I have been in denial for a while but now I have to start training seriously; I will be doing everything possible to give myself the utmost chance of being able to do this and help Martin achieve his challenge.”


Stuart will join Martin on a trial run up Snowdon in Wales in May and the pair, along with a small group of Martin’s closest friends, will take 11 days to get to the summit passing through rainforests, boulder fields, sand dunes and snowy peaks. Martin will also be taking the Paralympic Torch with him on the journey.

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Stuart Wildman
Stuart Wildman

Martin has said he wants to complete the challenge to inspire people with disabilities to live fulfilled, independent lives.


He added: “I’ll have to tackle the altitude, freezing temperatures and life under canvas. But it’s something I want to do - to turn an appalling act of terror in to the opposite; a powerful statement of hope and optimism, that can change forever the lives of the 2,500 people paralysed by spinal cord injury in the UK each year.”


The SIA charity delivers a network of services to meet the needs of every spinal cord injured person.


Stuart added: “It will be incredibly emotional; I can’t really begin to imagine how it will feel to see Martin achieve this.


“I have never done anything like this before but my motivation to get to the top will be right beside me.”


To show your support for the team, please donate via Martin's Mountain - JustGiving or text SIA10 to 70085 to donate £10 to SIA.