Nichola McGregor, from Belfast was joined by family and friends and recently stepped out to raise vital funds for Air Ambulance Northern Ireland in loving memory of Nichola’s late partner, Arnie Clarke.
Arnie who was just 55, sadly passed away while trying to rescue his dog from a river at Tollymore Forest Park in February 2020. Air Ambulance NI were tasked to the scene but despite the best efforts of the medical team and their colleagues at the Northern Ireland Ambulance Service, Arnie’s live couldn’t be saved.
Nichola said: “The Air Ambulance was despatched and arrived quickly that terrible day, but sadly and painfully they could not save Arnie. They gave him every chance possible, they fought so hard and for so long, bringing an expert consultant they reached us on a riverbank in the middle of a forest. With the help of all the emergency services, police, ambulance, mountain rescue and the fire brigade they fought for hours to try to save Arnie and bring him back.”
After this tragic incident, Nichola decided to complete a walk with family and friends, that Arnie himself had loved. They walked the 30km long route from Portballintrea to Portbradden in Arnie’s footsteps, to help Air Ambulance NI continue to lift off for people in critical need of emergency pre-hospital care.
The group raised a phenomenal £5,136, including Gift Aid for the local charity in Arnie’s memory. This sentimental donation will fund almost a full day of the service which is tasked on average twice a day.
Kerry Anderson, Head of Fundraising said, “We are so touched that Nichola and the team chose to support our charity whilst remembering Arnie. It was an absolute pleasure to welcome Nichola and family to our base and humbling to witness them do something so positive in the face of such tragic circumstances. The walk along the North Coast was a beautiful tribute to Arnie and this generous donation will help people receive advanced critical care when the worst has happened. Thank you.”