Carer's mammoth walk for vital charity

By Barrie Hudson - 11 August 2020

Charity

A woman has walked 1.5million steps in 100 days for Wiltshire Air Ambulance to thank the charity for changing her life.

  • From left: Carer Tina Ceferin, George Kershaw and wife Sarah Kershaw

    From left: Carer Tina Ceferin, George Kershaw and wife Sarah Kershaw

In 2016 Tina Ceferin moved to Wiltshire from her home country Slovenia to begin a new job as a carer for George Kershaw.

A year earlier Mr Kershaw had been involved in a horse-riding accident in fields near to his farm in Minety, near Malmesbury, requiring urgent assistance from Wiltshire Air Ambulance.

He was treated and then airlifted to Southmead Hospital.

The accident left him paralysed from the neck down, albeit with some movement in one of his hands, meaning he needed a carer - and along came Ms Ceferin.

She said: “Wiltshire Air Ambulance began the circle by saving George’s life, and he changed my life by giving me the job as his carer. 

"I just felt it would be good to give something back to the air ambulance.

“The service does such an amazing job, saving lives every day. You never know when you might need the air ambulance and it needs our support.”

Ms Ceferin says went through four or five pairs of trainers during her walking challenge, which saw her trek 15,000 steps each day for 100 days.

She added: “I was mainly walking all over the farm, but sometimes I would go into Minety village. I also did some walking in Cheltenham.

“I had an operation on my back seven months ago and I was reading some NHS information for my recovery which suggested undertaking some walking.

“I wanted to make the challenge special and 100 days was certainly that. By the end I was crying – I just wanted to sleep, but I’m so glad I’ve done it.

“George is my hero, he’s an inspiration. He deals with his situation with such a positive attitude and deals with everything so calmly. He’s amazing and just tries to make the best out of every day.”

In total Ms Ceferin trekked 836 miles and even went a little over her step target to 1.78million. She has so far raised more than £1,000 for Wiltshire Air Ambulance.

Mr Kershaw has actually been saved by the air ambulance twice - the previous occasion, in 2008, was also after a fall from his horse.

He said: “When Tina first told me about the idea I thought it was great but not for a minute did I think she’d manage it! She is the heroine of the piece, she’s a saint.

“You get very close to your carers because you spend so much time with them and understand each other’s lives. She’s been wonderful for me.”

Wiltshire Air Ambulance fundraising manager Des Regan said: “We need to raise £3.75 million each year to continue our lifesaving service, and rely on generous donations to achieve that. 

"Thank you to Tina for her amazing fundraising efforts.”

To donate to Tina’s fundraising page, visit https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/TINA-CEFERIN

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