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Hillwalker rescued by helicopter after suffering stroke

Robert Cunningham fell ill crossing Beinn a' Ghlo in Highland Perthshire on Wednesday.

Beinn a'Ghlo: Walker was flown to hospital (file pic).
Beinn a'Ghlo: Walker was flown to hospital (file pic). CC by Alan O'Dowd

A hillwalker had to be rescued by helicopter after suffering a stroke trying to scale three summits.

Robert Cunningham was crossing Beinn a' Ghlo in Perth and Kinross on Wednesday when he became ill.

Despite his condition, the 66-year-old was determined to carry on until reaching the first of the three peaks, Carn Liath.

He and his son Kieran decided to turn back when Mr Cunningham's condition worsened at around 12.30pm.

Mr Cunningham Jnr, 36, said: "We intended to do all three but he was short of breath after the first one.

"I noticed he was struggling and kept going back to meet him. He was determined to continue but I could see he wasn't doing too well.

"We decided to go back when half way down he froze. He was slurring his speech and I could see his face was bright purple."

They alerted the emergency services and a passer-by who stopped to help made contact with Tayside Mountain Rescue Team (TMRT).

The team was able to pinpoint their location, about 600 metres up the hillside and after about an hour they were found.

Mr Cunningham Snr was then taken to Ninewells Hospital in Dundee by helicopter.

The hillwalker, from Fife, was found to have a blood clot and is now recovering in hospital.

TMRT leader Stuart Johnston said: "From the nature of the symptoms we knew he was in a very serious condition so we assessed that we needed a full-scale team out.

"We are obviously delighted that Mr Cunningham is recovering in hospital, we're delighted to hear that good news.

"We at TMRT would like to thank the hill walkers who stopped to help, it's very heartwarming."

Mr Cunningham Jnr added: "The TMRT guys were awesome, they managed to get the helicopter out to him on a tricky bit of hillside.

"He was at hospital quite quickly, which was so important."

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