Adventurer’s life is saved

Pictured is Hathersage businessman Marc Woods who bravely took part in an Extreme World Races challlenge in the Antarctic before he collapsed with a life threatening illness.
Pictured is Hathersage businessman Marc Woods who bravely took part in an Extreme World Races challlenge in the Antarctic before he collapsed with a life threatening illness.

A DISABLED adventurer who had to be airlifted out of the Antarctic with a life threatening illness has made it safely home in time to celebrate his birthday with family.

Marc Woods, of Hathersage training company Sladen Woods, was struck down with a chest infection that developed into pneumonia during his Extreme World Races 25 day challenge to raise money for mental health charity MENCAP.

The 43 year-old, who has a false leg, was diagnosed with bronchitis but collapsed on the fourth day as race organisers were passing and was forced to bunker down in a tent for 24 hours before a plane flew him to a Russian airbase at Nova.

He said: “I was diagnosed with pneumonia and the Russian doctors treated me for a week before I could be flown on to Cape Town in South Africa.

“A specialist told me I could have got septicaemia blood poisoning and suffered heart attacks if I had continued.

“I was very lucky and grateful to the race organisers but I’m also disappointed to have had to pull out because my leg was standing up to the expedition without any problems.”

The former Paralympic gold medal swimmer, who lost a leg to cancer when he was 17 years-old, took on the challenge from January 4 to mark the 100th anniversary of Captain Scott’s South Pole expedition and to raise money for charity.

His endeavour has so far raised about £6,000 and Marc told how money is still coming in from kind people eager to acknowledge his valiant efforts.

Marc, who celebrated his 43rd birthday yesterday, added: “I’m delighted to have come back safe and well to my wife Petra and my two year-old daughter Evie.”

Those wishing to make donations can do so by visiting www.virginmoneygiving.com/team/TeamSladenWoods. jon.cooper@derbyshiretimes.co.uk