A QUADRUPLE amputee with one lung defied the odds to reach the top of Africa’s highest mountain alongside 10 other gutsy fundraisers.

It took five long and gruelling days to reach the summit of Mount Kilimanjaro, in Tanzania, but the team finally made it on Friday, having raised several thousands of pounds for Corinne’s charity Finding Your Feet (FYF).

Corinne, from Lochwinnoch, lost both her hands and legs below the knee when she contracted sepsis and pneumonia in 2013, before also losing the majority of one of her lungs last year due to infection.

She set up FYF with the aim of helping amputees to remain independent and connected to society.

The mum-of-one said she had always wanted to climb the world’s highest free-standing mountain – and wasn’t prepared to let her difficulties stop her.

When she revealed she was going to attempt the feat, 10 other volunteers got right behind her.

Among the volunteers was Jackie Dierikx, from Johnstone, who before training for the climb had smoked 40 cigarettes a day and never set foot in a gym.

Mum-of-three Jackie admits the Kilimanjaro challenge was gruelling.
She said: “The first couple of days were fine but it got harder and harder the higher we went. Summit day was so tough that I almost didn’t think I’d make it to the top.

“Altitude sickness made me tired and I could almost not keep my eyes open. One of the guides had to take my hand and lead me to the summit.

“I’m so glad I put in the effort on my training. At 55, I smoked forty cigarettes a day, had never been in a gym and never climbed anything apart from the stairs in my house. If I can do it, then anybody can do it.”

Corinne, who is thought to be the first female quadruple amputee to reach the summit, was given a five per cent chance of survival five years ago when she was struck down by sepsis.

But she insisted all along, no matter the cards she had been dealt, that nothing was going to stop her from living her life.

Corinne said: “I wanted to climb Kilimanjaro before sepsis, so why should my amputations stop me?

“I had blisters from day one, so it was hard having to keep putting my prosthetics on each day, and I developed a cough near the top, which was worrying, but I was too close to give up.

“This was about overcoming a personal challenge and, if it encourages others to do the same, then I’m happy.”