11 October 2022
Lee Painter, Daniel Painter, Wayne Newman, and Craig Salter will be taking on three of the most technical mountains in one weekend in support of Southampton Hospitals Charity. Lee Painter spoke to us about his own experience within Southampton Children’s Hospital and why this cause is close to his heart. He explains:
“A few years ago, I had a scare whilst my son Danny was still in the womb. Doctors discovered a fluid build-up in his brain, and after medical investigations, we were informed that my son had a rare form of Ventriculomegaly (enlargement of the ventricles of the brain).
In April 2019, we welcomed the most beautiful baby boy I had ever seen. Although he looked fine, they kept him in Southampton Children’s Hospital for a week along with his mum.
After he was discharged, we were visiting the hospital every week right up until he was six months old.
At six months, Danny had an MRI scan, where we would find out if he needed further medical intervention.
We were lucky to have a top neurologist and know that we were in one of the best neonatal intensive care units in the country. However, they couldn’t get to the bottom of what caused this.
The neurologist told us that he had never seen a case of ventriculomegaly in a baby or child without a direct cause.
Despite this diagnosis, the neurologist informed us that our son would be fine as he had no complications, and that the condition would resolve on its own.
We were so happy, but I know how easily it could have gone the other way. I just remember the sickening feeling of being in the waiting room and not knowing what the outcome would be.
I often think of all the other parents and the look of worry on their faces. To this day, I think of how lucky we were to have a happy ending and how some parents aren’t as fortunate.
That’s why I decided to raise money for Southampton Hospitals Charity, to thank the staff for their care of him and to support other parents going through the unit.
We chose to take on three of the biggest climbs in the country, all via the most dangerous routes.
A few years ago, we climbed Ben Nevis during the worst season, towards the end of the winter. We thought there might be a bit of snow at the top, but the entire mountain was covered in snow!
There will be four of us attempting Snowdonia, and although we’ve successfully climbed Ben Nevis, we’re now undertaking a bigger challenge.
We are going to attempt three of the UK’s hardest and most technical mountain climbs in one weekend. This will consist of Snowdon’s Horseshoe, where you reach the summit of Snowdon via Crib Goch and descend via Y Lliwedd.
We will attempt this climb on Saturday 22 October, then the next day we will climb Tryfan, which is the UK’s most technical mountain.
There is no easy route! It’s a vertical climb before we then attempt Bristly Ridge, which is an exposed cliff edge.
I think Bristly Ridge is probably the part I’m most nervous about!
I was lucky to leave Southampton Children’s Hospital with a healthy baby boy, but I just want to do something for the parents and children still going through a tough time.
I’m raising funds so that current and future generations of children can continue to benefit from the brilliant care at Southampton Children’s Hospital.”