A family from Monmouthshire will be walking 100km in May to raise funds for the lifesaving charity that helped saved their baby son’s life.

Rhiannon Lord, husband Simon and their sons Billy, 5, and Albie are taking part in the Wales Air Ambulance annual month-long Walk Wales challenge after Albie’s life was saved when he was just six weeks old.

Three-year-old Albie was taken ill with sepsis as a newborn and the Wales Air Ambulance were called due to the fact Albie was deteriorating so quickly.

His grateful mother Rhiannon said: “When Albie was only 6 weeks old he had sepsis. After a visit to the GP in the morning Albie went downhill incredibly quickly and things became very serious. We went back to see the GP who called for an ambulance on seeing Albie and the Wales Air Ambulance was sent out as he was rapidly deteriorating, tachycardic and going into septic shock.

“The amazing team from the Wales Air Ambulance treated Albie in the back of an ambulance in the surgery carpark and stabilised him before we were taken by road to Neville Hall Hospital. The Wales Air Ambulance crew stayed on board the ambulance with us and continued to treat him on route to the hospital. They saved his life that day and we will forever be so grateful for all that the air ambulance crew and the paramedics did for Albie. Every day with him is a blessing.

“Albie is now a healthy little boy who has just turned 3. He’s such a character and so full of joy.”

Wales Air Ambulance offers advanced critical care and is often described as a ‘Flying ED’. The on-board consultants and critical care practitioners are highly skilled and carry some of the most pioneering medical equipment in the world. They can deliver blood transfusions, administer anaesthesia, and undertake emergency operations at the scene of the incident, before flying the patient directly to specialist care.

Now operational 24/7, the Charity needs to raise £8 million every year to keep the helicopters flying.

100km in May is part of the Charity’s annual Walk Wales challenge which allows participants to walk different distances each year, whilst raising funds. 

Walk Wales 2022 -100km in May is open to people of all ages and the beauty of the virtual challenge allows ‘walkers’ the chance to either get out and about and explore Wales or to get their steps in at home, doing gardening, taking the dog for a walk, or even walking up and down the stairs!  

Reflecting on taking part in the challenge, Rhiannon added: “We walked every day during the lockdowns, and we found some amazing places so close to home that we never knew existed. We have got out of the habit, so this is a good reason to take it back up again. More importantly we wanted to fundraise for Wales Air Ambulance because it is such an important charity to us as a family.” 

This is the first time that Rhiannon, Simon, Billy and Albie will fundraiser as a family for the Wales Air Ambulance. Rhiannon has previously raised funds for the Charity by holding two ‘wear red’ days at her school - Haberdashers' Monmouth School. In the past two years she has raised £880 for the charity close to her heart.

Her family already reached their £150 fundraising target before they’ve even clocked up any miles.

Rhiannon added: “We have some amazing friends who know what this charity means to us and they have been so generous with their donations.”

Elin Murphy, Events and Partnerships Fundraiser said: “It is heartwarming to hear stories of families, like Albie’s, who fundraiser for our Charity after they experienced first-hand the lifesaving service that our medics provide to the people of Wales. It’s wonderful to hear that Albie is now a healthy and happy three-year-old who will also be taking on the challenge of walking 100km in May, which is inspirational. Thank you to the whole family, your support is much appreciated. Good luck with the challenge.”

Are you up for the challenge, if so, then lace up your boots and sign up via our dedicated Walk Wales Facebook Group or you can fundraise via our Just Giving page.

For more information on Walk Wales 2022 visit www.walesairambulance.com/walk-wales-2022