Covid survivor, 84, raises £50,000 for NHS after climbing Cornwall’s highest peak

  • Watch Claire Manning's package on Robin's climb from October 2020.

An 84-year-old Cornish explorer has raised nearly £50,000 for the NHS after climbing the county’s highest peak - just months after recovering from coronavirus.

Robin Hanbury-Tenison was admitted to Plymouth’s Derriford Hospital in March, where his treatment included five weeks in an induced coma.

His wife Louella and son Merlin were told to prepare for the worst, with doctors warning Mr Hanbury-Tenison had a less than five per cent chance of survival.

The 84-year-old, who is a former explorer, was placed on a ventilator and experienced multiple organ failure.

Robin in hospital earlier this year.

But he had a “breakthrough moment” when nurses took him to the rehabilitation garden at Derriford.

After being allowed to return home in May, Mr Hanbury-Tenison set himself the challenge of climbing Cornwall’s highest peak - Brown Willy on Bodmin Moor.

He completed the climb in October, walking in strong winds and rain to plant a Cornish flag at the top.

Robin planted a Cornish flag at the top of Brown Willy on Bodmin Moor.

Aiming to raise £100,000 to fund an intensive care garden at the Royal Cornwall Hospital, Mr Hanbury-Tenison has now received almost £50,000 in donations.

When Mr Hanbury-Tenison left hospital on 3 May, he was using a Zimmer frame and barely able to walk 10 yards - but he climbed Brown Willy exactly five months later.

The summit is 1,378 feet, or 420 metres, above sea level.

His wife Louella said: "We have worked him hard to get to this stage and it was, as we knew it would be, a real challenge for him.

Robin is a former explorer.

"We hadn't factored in Storm Alex and 60mph winds on the top of Brown Willy but with me pulling, our son Merlin and his wife Lizzie pushing, the three of us we made it."

As they reached the top, they found about 50 people had climbed the peak - separated into bubbles of six - to toast Mr Hanbury-Tenison's achievement.

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