KERRY Smith wanted to aim high to raise funds for her favourite charity.
But the business woman from Winnersh never thought it would mean scaling England’s tallest mountain.
Kerry, 42, likes nothing better than being up to her elbows in flour at the Berkshire Bakesmith in Wokingham.
So climbing the 978m Scafell Pike in the Lake District National Park would be anything but a piece of cake.
“It was quite a challenge but I got there in the end with help from my friends and family,” said the mum of two.
“Going up was hard but coming down really took it out on my knees. The views from the top were amazing but the money donated by many generous people was the real reason I did it.”
Kerry made the climb on behalf of the Ectopic Pregnancy Trust, a charity she describes as being “extremely close to my heart”.
In 2006, just six weeks into her first pregnancy, Kerry almost bled to death after suffering an ectopic pregnancy. Doctors at first thought she might have had a miscarriage.
“I started to grieve but then a scan showed I was still very much pregnant. I was scared and confused with no idea what was happening.
“At home, I did a Google search which suggested I might be having an ectopic pregnancy. I’d never heard of this before.”
Kerry was shocked to discover there are around 12,000 ectopic pregnancies, where fertilisation takes place outside the womb, in the UK every year and approximately five women die as a result.
“The pregnancy had ruptured through one of my fallopian tubes and I was bleeding internally. In fact, I had been bleeding internally for two weeks.
“Emergency surgery happened pretty much immediately and to be honest, it’s all a bit of a blur from there but I was so scared, my heart was beating through my chest and I cried a lot. I was told one of my ovaries had been damaged and I might not be able to get pregnant again.”
After being discharged, Kerry said she was not offered any counselling and it was only discovering the Ectopic Trust online that helped her get through the trauma she experienced.
“A lot of people stopped talking to me altogether because they didn’t know what to say and, in all honesty, I would have preferred them to say something, even the wrong thing, rather than to say nothing at all,” she added.
“The Ectopic Pregnancy Trust had support forums and so much information available. It was a massive lifeline for me and without them, without the other people in those forums, I honestly don’t know how I would have coped.
“Sadly, ectopic pregnancy remains an unknown for many women and is still something of a taboo subject. It is vital the Trust’s work is better known and that is why I am so keen to raise funds for it.”
Kerry was joined on the Scafell Pike climb by her best friend, Rachel, her son Thomas, 12, and Kerry’s son, Kieron, 11.
“It was my stepdad Pete’s idea and at first I thought there was no way I could climb that high. However, Pete led the way and was very encouraging as was Rachel and my husband, Chris, who stayed at home with our other son, Joshua, 4. Kieron had already climbed Scafell Pike and we were fortunate to do the trip on a lovely day.
“I want to do more fundraisers for the Trust but I’m not sure about climbing any more mountains.”
To support Kerry, or to make a donation, visit her fundraising page at: https://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/KerrySmith57