Soldiers to rescue for tumour victim

Gail Symington before the start of the Great North Run
Gail Symington before the start of the Great North Run

CANCER survivor Gail Symington made it over the finish line in the Great North Run after being carried by four burly soldiers.

The 26-year-old was just feet from the end of the 13.1-mile race when her legs “turned to spaghetti” and buckled under her and she “went fuzzy”.

But all was not lost for the brain tumour survivor when the soldiers each grabbed Gail’s legs and arms and carried her to victory.

The soldiers took Gail in a wheelchair to the Red Cross tent, where she ended up receiving five bags of saline in the Red Cross tent.

She had ran 13 miles, having passed the 400m-to-go mark.

But she was 500ft away from the end when dehydration took over and the Army had to jump to her rescue.

Former High Tunstall College of Science student Gail said: “It was weird, I had just seen my mum and sister at Mile 12.

“Then I literally got to 13 miles when my legs just went down and turned to spaghetti, there was just nothing left in me.

“Two Army guys picked me up and I thought I could walk with them but I couldn’t.

“So another two came and took a leg each – it was like a ‘king’s chair’ lift.”

Gail said the intermittent showers had fooled her into thinking she was more refreshed than she was, but she admitted she should have drank more.

She added: “I didn’t want to drink too much in case I was sick, but I just went down on the barriers.

“I didn’t quite black out, I just went fuzzy.

“I saw the Army camouflage, they picked me up and got me to the finish line.

“I was very grateful to them.”

Despite the drama, Gail made it back in two hours and four minutes, which she says she is really pleased with.

She spent an hour-and-a-half in the Red Cross tent and her family eventually found her after receiving a text from a nurse.

She thinks she will have raised £2,300 for Macmillan Cancer Support Nurses, who helped save her life.

The Mail previously told how Gail, who grew up in Jesmond Road, where her parents still live, but moved to London where she works as an account manager and lives with boyfriend Adam Parker, 30, also from Hartlepool, was struck down with cancer aged just 24.

After several visits to doctors, a brain tumour was diagnosed and during a gruelling course of radiotherapy, Gail, whose parents are Tom, 59, and Eileen, 58, suffered another blow when she was rushed into intensive care with suspected meningitis.

At one point Gail even lost her sight temporarily on the London Underground.

But after six weeks of radiotherapy she recovered.

Gail is hoping to push her sponsorship total to at least £2,500.

Donations can still be made at www.justgiving.com/Gail-Symington or by texting WFFB94 and the amount you wish to donate to 70070