Inspiring triathlon raises vital NWAA funds

Published: 18th November 2021

Michelle Wilkinson was an active fundraiser and mum of five, but in July 2013 her life changed after being diagnosed with a brain aneurysm. With a 70% chance of the aneurysm bursting, which could have been fatal or lead to a life changing disability, Michelle underwent a coiling procedure later that year.

During her recovery process it was discovered that her right cerebral artery was caught by one of the wires, leading Michelle to suffer a stroke caused by the bleeding. She was told her lift side was paralysed and she would not be able to walk or move her left arm ever again.

Michelle went on to spend 8 months in rehabilitation, resulting in her two youngest children being put into temporary foster care. Returning home in April 2014 and reunited with her children, they adapted to their new life.

Michelle required the use of a wheelchair when outside, but through hard work and determination, Michelle is now able to walk with a stick in her home. She’s built up enough strength to attend the gym, keeping active, and most importantly staying out of hospitalisation.

This year Michelle set herself a mammoth challenge, to take on a triathlon in aid of the North West Air Ambulance Charity. Over three days Michelle was aiming to complete 30 lengths of her local swimming pool, 3,000 rows on a rowing machine (the equivalent of just under 2 miles), and walk one lap of the Clitheroe Cricket field, 1/3 of a mile.

Accompanied by her son, Anthony aged 14, they completed the triathlon on the 8th anniversary of her operation. Thanks to fantastic support from family, friends, and local businesses Michelle’s total stands at a fantastic £1,000!

Spurred on by her fundraising success, Michelle is already training to support us with another triathlon event next year, aiming to double her efforts taking on 6,000 rows, 60 lengths and 2 laps.

Laura Carr, Regional Fundraiser for South Lancashire, quoted “Michelle’s story is awe inspiring, we cannot thank her enough for supporting the work we do and helping us keep flying to save lives. As we receive no government or NHS funding, fundraising is at the very heart of who we are and is crucial so that we can continue to bring the hospital to the patient. From enabling us to fund our missions, to ensuring we have the most up to date equipment, support like Michelle’s goes a long way.”

We are constantly amazed by our supporters and cannot thank Michelle and her son enough for her incredible support.

Michelle Wilkinson

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