A woman with asthma so severe that she was going back and forth to hospital has climbed the country’s highest mountain for charity.
Rachel McCarthy from Lincoln began experiencing symptoms of asthma when she was 22.
Her condition started to slowly deteriorate from there and was forced to go to bed straight after work. She started to lose friends and was unable to enjoy life for many years.
A new medication called Mepolizumab was released, which is injected every four weeks to target inflammation, and Rachel jumped on the chance of a better life.
She said: “I haven’t looked back. I’ve had zero admissions for my asthma and I’ve not been on a course of steroids since October 2017, which is absolutely amazing.”
In what would have been an impossible challenge a year ago, Rachel felt strong enough to climb the country’s highest mountain, Ben Nevis.
She realised this ambition with 14 other brave souls to raise money for Asthma UK, conquering the Scottish landmark in just 11 hours.
Like many other asthmatics, this was particularly difficult for Rachel because damp air and cold conditions are two of her main triggers of asthma.
After climbing the mountain, she said : “It has been by far the has been the hardest challenge I’ve ever done.
“Simple things such as climbing a flight of stairs at home were mammoth tasks for me before the treatment.
“I’d like to thank my wonderful team of family, work colleagues and friends. I couldn’t have done it without them.
“My mum and dad (Lesley and David Ward) for being my superheroes; my sister (Rebecca) for her love and support; and my sister-in-law (Nikki Stout) who guided me through the climb and was my driving force throughout.”
Rachel is one of over 11,000 patients who have helped support research across many disease areas at Leicester’s hospitals in the last year.