28th Jun, 2022

Ralph to confront fear of heights by taking 100ft plunge in aid of medics who saved his life

Andy Morris 28th Jun, 2019

A FEAR of heights is not stopping a Coventry University professor from taking a 100ft plunge in aid of the medics who saved his life.

Ralph Kenna, 54, is urging people to face their fears and help save lives by joining him in a charity abseil down the walls of Coventry Cathedral to keep the Warwickshire and Northamptonshire Air Ambulance flying.

He is taking on the challenge to thank the flying doctors who came to his aid when he suffered a cardiac arrest in August 2017.

The Rugby resident was in the middle of a routine shop at his local supermarket when his heart suddenly stopped and he collapsed.

A crew from the Warwickshire and Northamptonshire Air Ambulance came to his rescue, putting him into an induced coma before he was driven to University Hospital Coventry.

Ralph was in a coma for four days and spent seven weeks in hospital. It was six months before he was well enough to return to work.

He raised over £2,000 for the charitatin the Rugby Half Marathon last October, and now plans to take part in the sponsored abseil event on Saturday July 27.

He said: “I have a fear of heights but my life experience so far has been to confront one’s fears. I’ll climb up and down the ladder a few times a day if I can – and I’ll google ‘abseiling for scaredy cats’.

“The least I can do is push myself out of my comfort zone and take part in the abseil – and I hope lots of other people will do the same and follow my example.”

Ralph describes himself as ‘always having been very health conscious’ and had taken part in half marathons before his cardiac arrest. Since being discharged from hospital he has been running regularly.

“What happened to me was completely random,” he said. “I am an ordinary person, it was an ordinary day and I am very fit – so if it can happen to me it can happen to anyone.”

Warwickshire and Northamptonshire Air Ambulance receives no government funding, and relies on fundraising events and donations to fund its missions – each of which costs £1,700.

Visit https://the-air-ambulance-service.charitycheckout.co.uk/cf/The-Coventry-Cathedral-Abseil for more information, or to sign up.

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