Brave Sally vows to beat Ben Nevis in a wheelchair


A BRAVE mum-of-three has revealed she is making a second attempt to conquer Ben Nevis – in a wheelchair.

MS sufferer Sally Hyder had to abandon her first attempt because of technical problems .

But the determined 48-year-old will again battle to reach the highest peak in the UK this summer.

Sally and her assistance dog Harmony

She will be helped in the difficult and dangerous task by 30 Royal Marines from Faslane and seven firefighters from Edinburgh.

And a huge amount of work has gone into creating a new all-terrain wheelchair that, she hopes, will be up to the task.

Sally was bitterly disappointed when last year’s bid failed. She said: “I was just angry with fate generally.

“Nothing’s easy with the MS.  Nothing’s easy.  You have to fight for everything, you have to fight to get out of bed, you have to fight to do anything.

“I’d put a lot of hope and faith into getting to the top of Ben Nevis and I just couldn’t believe it wasn’t going to happen.  Inside I’d been certain I was always going to make it.”

Since her Ben Nevis adventure Sally has finished a book called ‘Finding Harmony’ which is to be pu

blished on Thursday, February 3.

It includes the story of her trip up Ben Nevis, focussing on how the arrival of her assistance dog Harmony to the Hyder family helped her rediscover her sense of adventure and inspired her to take on the Ben Nevis challenge.

She said: “First of all I thought why will anyone be interested in my life? Why would people want to read this book and the editor at Harper Collins said trust me we have so many different proposition

s for a book a day, we wouldn’t be asking you if we didn’t think it was a book people would want to read.

“I think it’s because there are so many facets to it.

“I’m really excited I feel really humbled, that sounds very cheesy but its true.  I am so  touched by the amount of people who are interested who have contacted me who have gone and ordered the book and are fascinated by the story and I just feel really touched by how many people are interested.

“And the booking signing itself I’m a bit nervous but I actually just feel like its going to be like

being surrounded by well wishers and friends or maybe people I don’t know who are just really interested in the book.

The book also describes her active and adventurous life with boyfriend then husband Andrew, who proposed at Everest base camp.

The book recounts her reaction after her diagnosis “I kept apologising: I’m so sorry, I’m so sorry.  If you’d known this about me you wouldn’t have married me.”

“I felt cheated and I felt hugely guilty.”

She added: “I have two hopes for the book, one is that I want people to know about the

dogs and the work that they do.

“The second thing is for other people with disabilities or even just people who’ve had things go against them realise you can pick yourself up and dust yourself down and trust me I have had days when I think I have had enough and I don’t want to pick myself up again how many more times am I going to have to do this?

“But there is a way forward you can fight your way forward.  It doesn’t have to be going up Ben Nevis it can be going to the shop for a coffee, getting out of bed it’s any number of things.  Ben Nevis is just a metaphor for surviving.