Wigan man 'lucky to be alive' after horrific mountain fall

Christian Unsworth is making a remarkable recovery following the fall
Christian Unsworth is making a remarkable recovery following the fall

A Wigan man cheated death when he plunged more than 100ft from a mountain breaking his back in a terrifying fall.

A Wigan man cheated death when he plunged more than 100ft from a mountain breaking his back in a terrifying fall.

Christian Unsworth was air lifted to hospital

Christian Unsworth was air lifted to hospital

Christian Unsworth from Marsh Green, was hiking on the Old Man of Coniston on Christmas Eve when he lost his footing and plummeted to the bottom of a crag.

The 25-year-old, who suffers from ataxia (a neurological condition which can affect coordination, balance and speech), was saved by a couple from Newcastle who saw him fall and rushed to his aide, making sure he stayed still until the air ambulance arrived.

Ian Unsworth, Christian’s father, said that his son is lucky to be alive after the fall, which has left him hospitalised with a broken back, broken pelvis and a punctured lung.

“We had gone out for a drink and something to eat,” he said. “When we got back my partner’s relative told me Christian had had a fall. I never thought it would be something like this, I just thought it was a little tumble.

“He was airlifted to Preston as it’s a major trauma unit. They told us to come right away so I feared the worst.

“He had to have a couple of litres of blood - he lost that much.

“He’s been here since Christmas Eve and they’ve put me in the hospital hotel so I have been able to be with him every day since.”

Coniston Mountain Rescue were called to the site at the bottom of Grey Crag above the Coppermines Valley at around 12.30pm on Christmas Eve.

Walking conditions were good as Christian set out for his walk, with rescue teams describing it as a “beautiful, clear, sunny” day.

In an incredible rescue mission, which took 14 members more than two hours, two Land Rovers were deployed to the main tourist track - which was relatively close to the incident.

A spokesman for Coniston Mountain Rescue said: “The Great North Air Ambulance also attended and arrived a little later.

“The casualty was assessed and had suffered multiple injuries.

“He was given pain relief and once stable, was placed in a vacuum mattress, and stretchered off the fell side to the helicopter.”

He was then flown to Royal Preston.

Since arriving at the trauma unit, Christian has begun the slow steps to recovery, undergoing a major back operation to help him walk again.

“He’s had a couple of pins put into his back,” added Ian. “He is walking quite slowly but he is walking - with help.

“I think because he’s so young he has been able to start recovering.

“He really is lucky to be alive.”

Ian said that the hospital’s offer to let him stay at the on-site hotel has taken “so much pressure off”.

“I like being with my son,” he said. “Rather than going and coming back every day it means I can stay with him.”

Christian’s family is hoping that he will be moved to Wigan in the coming days, where he will continue his recovery with intensive physiotherapy and is planning to return to the mountain later this year.

Christian has taken to Facebook since the incident to thank the mountain rescue team for saving his life.

He wrote on the Coniston team’s page: “It’s me who you rescued from the mountain.

“I will call in the office in August. I would like very much to meet you all and thank you for a job well done.”

Since writing the message, Christian has been invited for a tour around the rescue centre and to meet the team who saved him from the brink of death.