Hartlepool dad conquers 'Everest' in a tribute to his daughter who does it every day of her life

A dad from Hartlepool has climbed the equivalent of Mount Everest in 15 hours – to help poorly children who face their own mountain every day.

Wednesday, 5th May 2021, 7:00 am

Paul O’Donovan went up and down Roseberry Topping 30 times in all conditions and described the final hours as “horrendous”.

It is the hardest thing I have ever done in my life,” he added.

He and fellow climber Natalie Phillips – of Geordie Shore television fame – experienced awful weather including sleet and slippery slopes which they had to tackle in darkness at times.

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A mega effort from Paul and Natalie.

But Paul said the experience was nothing compared to the bravery of poorly children such as his own eight-year-old daughter, who has undergone life-threatening surgery, battled meningitis, been treated for hydrocephalus and had a shunt put into her head and that’s just in the last four years.

She has her own charity called Lyla and Lilley’s Stars which belongs to her and her sister Lilley.

The money raised from the climb will go towards funding a caravan near Blackpool where sick children and their families can stay.

Paul O'Donovan and Natalie Philips who walked up and down Roseberry Topping 30 times in less than a day.

Paul, who tackled the charity mega event on Saturday, said: “The pain of going up and down Roseberry Topping is 1 per cent of what some children go through.

"They struggle and fight every day and sometimes just getting out of bed is huge for them.”

The charity’s aim is to support other people going through tough times by sending them on a getaway day or short break.

Paul, who is in the Army, said: “The last three climbs were horrible and we were doing a step every three seconds. We were sore and tired.”

A mountainous challenge but for such an important cause.

But the climb is thought to have raised around £6,000 to give two families a week a break.

Lyla is thought to have had a dozen brain operations.

She is currently ‘”doing alright and has had a good few weeks but she gets good weeks and bad weeks”.

Paul O'Donovan and his daughter Lyla on a previous visit to Roseberry Topping.

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Paul and Lyla on one of their previous visits to Roseberry Topping.