Triple success for Wigan woman who wanted to climb a mountain after spinal surgery

A Wigan woman who once struggled to do the most basic of tasks is on top of the world after climbing the country’s tallest mountains.
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Eva Curless spent her early 20s with chronic back and leg pain, but physiotherapy, spinal injections and a seven-hour spinal fusion surgery at Salford Royal Hospital in January 2022 transformed her life.

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Recovering from the surgery – where her spine was stabilised with screws, rods and a titanium cage – was tough for Eva, but she set herself the goal of climbing a mountain in 2023.

Eva Curless completed the three peaks challengeEva Curless completed the three peaks challenge
Eva Curless completed the three peaks challenge
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She has now gone one step further by completing the national three peaks challenge, which involves climbing Ben Nevis, Snowdon and Scafell Pike in 24 hours.

Eva raised more than £1,000 for the charity supporting Salford Royal and other hospitals in the Northern Care Alliance NHS Foundation Trust.

She said: “I don’t have enough words to thank the NHS for what they have done for me, so I took on a challenge to raise funds for NorthCare Charity, the official charity of Northern Care Alliance NHS Foundation Trust.

“The money raised will allow me to give back to the spinal unit at Salford Royal so they can care for other patients with spinal conditions and injuries, as well as funding the UK’s first hybrid major trauma theatre The RAPTOR at the new Greater Manchester major trauma hospital.”

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Eva walked over 26 miles of uneven terrain, some of it in the dark, over 10,000ft of incline.

In preparation, she completed the Yorkshire three peaks challenge, a total of 25 miles over 4,500ft of incline.

She said: “After my surgery, things like turning over in bed, sitting up and taking small steps were a challenge and required a great deal of help. But I trained for 10 months, working hard at physiotherapy, in the gym and going for long walks.

"The challenge was very tough, especially with the high temperatures, and there were times when I thought it was a bit beyond my reach, so I am very proud that I managed to complete it.”

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Jess Pollard, community fund-raising manager for NorthCare, said: “Eva’s recovery is an amazing achievement and we’re so proud to have supported her on this incredible fund-raising challenge.”

To find out more about Eva’s challenge and to donate, visit justgiving.com/fundraising/eva-curless10.

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