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£1,350 and climbing as Kevin tackles Snowdon – from his own home

By Megan Archer | Wolverhampton | Health | Published:

Kevin climbs Snowdon – from his own home A judo expert who praised staff at Black Country medical staff for saving his life three times has completed his latest fundraising effort for the NHS – by scaling the equivalent of Snowdon from his home and raising more than £1,350.

Kevin O'Reilly

Kevin O’Reilly, one of the senior coaches at Wolverhampton Judo Club, took on the ‘climb-a-thon’ to walk up and down his stairs at home, in Coppice Farm, Willenhall, 271 times, an ascent of 1,085 metres – the height of the highest mountain in Wales – to raise money for The Royal Wolverhampton NHS Trust Charity.

The gruelling challenge took the 59-year-old one hour, 54 minutes and 40 seconds.

“I’ve always done things that are a bit of a challenge and I like to set myself goals,” said Kevin, who works as a technical and operations director for Securefast, a firm based in Cannock that makes electronic security products.

"A friend of mine who is ex-military and trains cadets gave me the idea after some of my work colleagues climbed Snowdon last year."

Kevin had a package installed on his laptop to count the number of flights, so after each descent, he would hit ‘enter’ to register another flight climbed. His only company was the odd swig of water to keep refreshed and his MP3 player, while his wife Barbara videoed him to upload to Facebook to show to his supporters.

“I was getting comments on Facebook as I was doing it such as ‘Is there a pub halfway up?’ and many messages of support which kept me going,” he said.

Unconscious

“My legs felt it after 10 flights but eventually your body gets into a momentum. After completing the challenge, my top was soaked with sweat and I noticed I had lost three pounds in weight. It took my legs five or six days to recover.”

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As an eight-year-old, Kevin suffered a fractured skull and broken collarbone in a road traffic accident and was unconscious for three days, spending three weeks in hospital. In 2012 he was diagnosed with cancer of the oesophagus and had to have it removed, spending a month in hospital. Then last year he was admitted again, this time with pneumonia. But each time he has made a full recovery and wanted to give something back.

“The trust has saved my life three times,” said Kevin, a fifth Dan black belt who competed in judo for Great Britain at 17 and is also director and secretary at Wolverhampton Judo Club.

“Over the past seven or eight years, as I’ve got fitter, I’ve wanted to raise money for the hospital. With the help of colleagues from judo, we’ve raised over £21,000.”

So far, Kevin’s climb-a-thon has raised over £1,300 and donations can still be made by visiting the Just Giving page https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/kevin-o-reilly18

Megan Archer

By Megan Archer
Chief Reporter - @MeganA_Star

Chief Reporter with the Express & Star. Give me a call on 01902 319363 or email megan.archer@expressandstar.co.uk.

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